The National Human Rights Commission had sought an action-taken report from the director, health and family welfare, Chandigarh, into the death of Gurjot Kaur, a four-month-old girl who was fitted a "counterfeit" shunt during a brain surgery at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). The director is to comply within six weeks.
Gurjot's SAS Nagar-based family had approached the national panel headquartered at New Delhi via a complaint by city-based advocate and social activist Pankaj Chandgothia. It detailed how Gurjot had been operated upon on April 2, got a "counterfeit" shunt, and died on June 21 at the PGIMER. "With this, the parents lost their only child to medical malpractices at PGIMER and its chemists," alleged Chandgothia.
Going further, Chandgothia has alleged large-scale malpractices at the institute and chemists. In the complaint, "Thus, we have sought action against the PGIMER Director, Baby Care Chemists on the campus and the director of health services, Chandigarh." The UT's health department director and the PGIMER director "are also liable for criminal negligence… They have failed to monitor and regulate the sale of fake medical equipments and expired medicines".
Besides, he has sought damages of Rs 50 lakh for the parents of the child. Chandgothia added, "The PGIMER is refusing to give any document or the medical file of the deceased. They also prevailed upon the parents not to have the post-mortem done, so that they can escape conviction and punishment".
Chandgothia said the wrapper of the shunt did not bear the hologram and stamp of the manufacturer, which should have alerted the operating doctor not to use it. "There was systematic failure at every stage," he has added.
"Rs 50 lakh be imposed on chemist, PGI director and director, health, UT, as penalty and damages to parents.
"Delinquent shop -- Baby Care Chemists -- be sealed and its licence cancelled.
"Action against PGI director and director, health, UT, for failure to perform their duties of monitoring services.