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    Petition filed in the wake of maternal death at Ntuma village in Peren District, Nagaland

    Date : 30/08/2016

    Case title: Agabovs The State of Nagaland &Ors
    W.P(C) No. 236 (K) of 2016,
    IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUWAHATI, KOHIMA BENCH

    Synopsis:

    The Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in the wake of the tragic maternal death of Lt. Ningdaolaliu seeking issuance of writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction of this Hon’ble Court to the Respondents. Through this Writ Petition, the petitioner incline to bring before the Hon’ble Court the death of Lt. Ningdaolaliu which was preventable if the Primary Health Centre were operative and if proper medical care was given to Lt. Ningdaolaliu.

    The deceased was denied of her fundamental Right to good health, under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Through this petition, the petitioner seeks the Hon’bleCourt to direct the respondents to pay compensation to the deceased’s family and direct the respondent to; pay the incentives under the National Family Benefit Scheme, reimburse payment incurred for all referral services violating JSSK scheme and cash benefits under JSY of maternal schemes that are rightful entitlement of every pregnant women and the required services and facilities to be made available in the PHC of Ntuma village and Tening village so that no woman have to suffer the same fate and that appropriate compensation to be provided to the victim’s family when preventable maternal death happens due to callousness caused by the government aided hospitals.

    Status (In court):
    Pending

    Description:

    A woman dies as a result of complications arising during pregnancy and childbirth every 90 seconds in the world and every 7 minutes in India. The performance of Nagaland on most of the antenatal care indicators is poor with only 23.1 percent received three or more antenatal check-ups and only 23.8 percent received antenatal check-ups in the first trimester. In Nagaland only 8.9% of births received all the required components of antenatal care which is well below the national average of 20.0%. Also, it is to be noted that, in Nagaland more than 98 percent of women did not receive any home visit from any health or family welfare worker as compared to 87 percent of the national average.
    The team got information about the maternal death from the Nagaland Post newspaper dated August 20, 2016 by a press release issued by Tening Town Traders’ Union President. Therefore, on such notice, in the month of September, 2016, the Human Rights Law Network(“HRLN”) team conducted a fact finding research in concerning to the maternal death that had occurred at Ntuma village in Peren District. The team visited the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Ntuma village and the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Tening town. The team also visited the deceased’s parents and interviewed them. The interview was intended to elicit a first-hand account of the deceased woman’s background, child-bearing history, pregnancy, delivery and the events amounting to her death. More specifically, the interview was intended to assess whether the numerous schemes including JSY and JSSK were being implemented on the ground.
    An application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, directing for a writ petition mandamus and / or any other appropriate writ(s) or direction (s) for the violation of the deceased’s Fundamental Right to Life enshrined under Part-III of the Constitution of India. The death of Lt. Ningdaolaliu, who passed away during her 5th pregnancy, preventable in nature, which was perpetuated due to the absence of doctor both in Ntuma Primary Health Centre and TeningPrimary Health Centre, Peren District, Nagaland.
    The pregnancy of the deceased was registered during her first trimester and her expected date of delivery was due for 5th May, 2016 as recorded in her Ante-natal Card. The mother’s subsequent ANC and pregnancy was not tracked. Her blood test was not conducted which could have kept check on her test and diagnosis. She never saw any doctor or any health worker who could have indicated her complications.
    On 17th May when the deceased had her labour with abdominal pain, her delivery due for more than a week, she visited the Primary Health Centre of Ntuma, on reaching there was no doctor present. In the absence of a doctor, she was referred to Tening PHC however there was no Referral service available to carry her to Tening PHC. Hence, she went back home without any services being provided in crucial home. On the 18th May, on arranging private veicle, the deceased reach the PHC of Tening at 8:00am. There again there was no doctor present. By then the baby’s armand head started to emerge. The staffs in Tening PHC unable to cater complicated cases further referred her to Peren District Hospital to which the family of the deceased was asked to pay for the Ambulance cost of INR 900 for referral service. That after prolonged agony, the deceased went into coma, losing her conscious. The respondent has failed inproviding timely care and treatment unable to secure the life of the deceased, leading into her untimely death at 10:30 am on her way to Peren District Hospital. The petitioner on interaction with one of the staff nurse was told that the delay in treatment and lack of timely medical intervention was the cause which led to the death of the deceased.
    The very fact of non-availability of doctors at Ntuma PHC depriving the deceased from her basic right. Through proper medication and referral ambulance service on time, the deceased as well as her family would not have undergone through such trauma and losing a precious life. It is apparent from the aforementioned factual that there was numerous violation of the Indian Public Health Standards, the JSY and the JSSK schemes as well as violation of basic Fundamental Rights.

    Respondent No.1 in this case is the State of Nagaland, through the Chief Secretary, who has not filed any reply in the court, till date.

    Respondent No.2 is the Commissioner and Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department who has not filed any reply in the court.

    Respondent No.3 is the Principal Director at the directorate level of the health and Family Welfare with no reply filed.

    Respondent No.4 is the Mission Director of the National Health Mission in the State of Nagaland who is responsible for the implementation. No reply has been filed till date.

    Respondent No.5 is the Commissioner and Secretary of Social Welfare Department. Submission has been made by the concerned counsel that para wise reply has been prepared however the affidavit has not yet been filed till date.

    Respondent No. 6 is the Director of Social Welfare Department at the Director level responsible for the implementation of the scheme in the State of Nagaland. No reply has been filed by the respondents.

    Respondents No.7 and Respondent No.8 is the Medical Superintendent and the Chief Medical Officer respectively. Replies have not yet been filed.

    Respondent No. 9 is the Union of India who has also not filed any reply till date.

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