MUMBAI: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra government to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation for its negligence that the death of an 82-year-old Covid-19 patient in Jalgaon civic hospital.
The bench comprising justice Srikant Kulkarni and SV Gangapurwala passed the order asking the Maharashtra government to pay the compensation to the relatives of deceased Malati Nehete. “There is no straight-jacket formula for awarding compensation.
"By taking into consideration the circumstances in totality appearing on the record, age of the patient, and family background, we are of the considered view to awarding the compensation and the same is quantified at Rs 5 lakh. It should be paid in the next four months,” stated the court in its order.
The court said the government had violated the right to life which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Malati Nehete met with an unfortunate death because of the culpable negligence on the part of the doctors, staff nurses, and paramedical medical staff.
The court also asked the health secretary to take action against the culprits. The body of 82-year-old Malati Nehete, who had gone missing for eight days, was recovered from the toilet of the civil hospital in Jalgaon where she was admitted to.
The court passed the order on the PIL filed by activist Pratibha Shinde of Lok Sangarsha Morcha. The PIL pointed out the mismanagement, negligence, dereliction of duties, and non-provision of necessary healthcare at the hospital.
After the incident, Jalgaon collector Abhijeet Raut suspended Jalgaon Civil hospital Dean Dr. Bhaskar Khaire, Assistant Professor Dr. Suyog Chaudhari, and junior doctor Kalpana Dhanakar after they were found guilty of dereliction of duty.