The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has asked the state government to pay compensation of Rs7 lakh to Sarangi Mahajan for negligence on part of jail doctors in treating her husband Pravin Mahajan while he was serving a life term at Nasik Central Prison.
Sarangi had approached the commission after Mahajan died in a private hospital in Thane on March 3 last year. She had sought an enquiry into the negligence and action against the medical officers. The commission found that the prison doctors had not prescribed medicines to Mahajan despite being aware of his ailments — high blood pressure and diabetes.
“Whenever Mahajan was produced before the medical officer of the jail dispensary, instead of asking him to undergo pathology test, he was simply prescribed medical diet,” the commission bench comprising its president, chief justice (retired) Kshitij Vyas and member, justice (retired) VG Munshi wrote in its order issued on December 8. “There is nothing on record to show that the blood pressure or blood sugar of the deceased was ascertained,” they said of the medical treatment.
“Having gone through the medical papers, the commission is unable to find any prescriptions of medicines on most of the case papers,” the commission noted, and concluded: “Therefore, the concerned medical officer is liable to be dealt with for showing negligence and casual approach in providing treatment to the deceased.”
The commission held that prisoners have the right to have proper medical treatment, and failure thereof amounts to breach of their human rights, and asked the state government to conduct an inquiry against erring medical officers and take appropriate action against them.
Mahajan was convicted for murdering his elder brother and senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan on April 22, 2006. He was convicted on December 18, 2007 and sentenced to life imprisonment. In November 2009, he was released from jail on furlough leave. A day before he was to surrender, Mahajan collapsed and was admitted to a private hospital in Thane where he died on March 3, 2010.
Sarangi had not asked for compensation, although she had stated to have spent Rs20 lakh on Mahajan’s treatment at the private hospital. However, the commission asked the state to pay compensation considering substantial amount spent.