New Delhi: The National Consumer Redressal Commission has awarded a man Rs 10.5 lakh in compensation for his wife’s death eight years ago. A report in The Times of India says that Ramadhar Singh’s wife was comatose from 2005 following an abdominal surgery. Bachan Devi died in 2010, never recovering from the coma. Relying on the diagnosis of a doctor who was consulted after Bachan Devi’s condition deteriorated, the Commission has declared it a case of medical negligence.
A bench comprising Commission president Justice DK Jain, members Rekha Gupta and M Shreesha held: “The pathetic condition of the patient is evidenced in the treatment record and discharge summary of Dr SM Rohatgi. The contention of the treating doctor that the letterhead of Dr Rohatgi cannot be used for medico-legal purposes and, therefore, the prescription cannot be relied upon, is completely unsustainable.”
It took Singh 15 trips from his native Gaya, Bihar, to the capital, to see his case through. He had alleged medical negligence on the part of Dr Sudhir Mohan Kant, who had performed total abdominal hysterectomy on his wife on August 14, 2005. “You see me standing here in front of you, but mentally, physically and financially, I feel dead,” he says.
While his wife was still in the coma, Singh moved a district forum in 2006 and was awarded Rs 10 lakh as compensation. The state commission reduced the amount to Rs 4 lakh in 2011 when the surgeon appealed against the order. In 2012, Singh filed a revision plea in the apex body through his lawyers. Devi was operated upon by Dr Sudhir Mohan Kant but never came to. She was administered oxygen as she had difficulty in breathing. After she remained unconscious till evening, a second surgery was advised for which Singh was asked to sign on some papers. He was later told that she would regain consciousness but that never happened. Singh then visited a dozen doctors, including Dr Rohatgi whose diagnosis the Commission took into account, in September 2005.