84-yr-old retired official to pursue LLB from Kanpur university

After losing his wife to medical negligence at a government health facility in 1998, the senior citizen won legal battle without hiring any lawyer
In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s order to penalise the hospital and compensate Sitaram Srivastava. (Pic for representation)
In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s order to penalise the hospital and compensate Sitaram Srivastava. (Pic for representation)
Published on Sep 20, 2021 06:52 PM IST
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By Haidar Naqvi

KANPUR In 1998, Sitaram Srivastava lost his wife to medical negligence at a government health facility in Lucknow. He was crestfallen and pledged to start a legal fight for justice.

Without hiring any lawyer, he pled the case from the Consumer Forum to the Supreme Court — and his arguments won him everywhere.

In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s order to penalise the hospital and compensate Srivastava. At that time, he decided to pursue a degree in law and become a lawyer.

“I wanted to help people victimised by corruption, in the court of law,” said Srivastava. At 82, he attempted to enroll in the LLB course, but as per rules, he was overage.

Two years later, the New Education Policy opened up the window for him to chase his dream at the age of 84. The CSJM University, Kanpur, accepted his application. Soon, he would be in the LLB class at Dayanand College of Law at Civil Lines, Kanpur.

“Sitaram Srivastava had vice-chancellor Dr Vinay Pathak last week with his application stating that university computers were not processing applications of people born in 1960 or before that. But the V-C has given him special permission to pursue the course” said Dr Vivek Sachan, university spokesman.

“We are updating our systems to help the elderly people still interested in pursuing different courses as the New Education Policy puts no age bar,” he said.

Srivastava was born in 1937 (in Kanpur) and completed his graduation from Christ Church College. He retired from Provident Fund organisation as enforcement officer in 1995.

His wife took ill in 1997-end and a hospital in Kanpur “misdiagnosed the problem and continued with the treatment.” This line of treatment was followed at the hospital in Lucknow, said Srivastava.

“I contested the case tirelessly. The District Consumer Forum ruled in my favour and levied damages on the hospitals – both in Kanpur and Lucknow. The verdict was upheld in the state and national commissions. I went to the Supreme Court and filed a special leave petition expressing dissatisfaction over the compensation amount,” he said, adding the Supreme Court ruled in his favour in the first hearing.

The success after tireless efforts made him to pursue LLB course. “I am excited that I am finally registered for it and waiting for admission forms,” said the senior citizen.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021