2012 uterus scam in Bihar: HC allows plea to call in CBI for probe

Published on Jul 08, 2022 10:04 PM IST

A division bench comprising justices Ashwini Kumar Singh and Dr Anshuman passed the order on Thursday while hearing the PIL filed by Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life.

The Patna high court. The next hearing is due on Monday next. (HT Photo)
The Patna high court. The next hearing is due on Monday next. (HT Photo)
By, Patna

The Patna high court, which is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging a nexus between officials and doctors that led to illegal removal of uterus of a number of women and minor girls under a central government medical insurance scheme in Bihar in 2012, has allowed a plea to make the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a party in the case, one of the lawyers for the petitioners said.

A division bench comprising justices Ashwini Kumar Singh and Dr Anshuman passed the order on Thursday while hearing the PIL filed by Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life.

Dinu Kumar, counsel for the petitioners, said there was a possibility of the premier investigating agency taking up the case. “ The next hearing is due on Monday next,” Kumar said.

According to the petition, a total of 702 women, including some unmarried girls, were operated upon, without their consent, to remove their uteruses under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) for poor families in eight different districts of Bihar in 2012. The maximum number of these illegal surgeries were registered in Gopalganj (318), followed by Samastipur, where 316 women and girls fell victim to the nexus.

“In some cases, it was found that operations were performed by people who were not even doctors,” said Dinu Kumar.

In August 2012, Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) had taken a suo motu cognizance of reports about irregularities in cases of uterus removal under the scheme and sought a report from the state government. Later, an expert committee was formed on chief minister Nitish Kumar’s orders.

The rights panel, on April 28, 2016, directed the government to pay a compensation of 2.5 lakh each to the victims in the age group of 20-40 years and 1.5 lakh to those over 40. The money was to be deposited into their accounts in three months.

As directed by the BHRC, the state government had lodged cases against 33 empanelled hospitals and 13 doctors.

Several district magistrates, who had conducted inquiries, had written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to cancel the registration of 33 doctors and 17 hospitals.

The state government had released the compensation amount of 12.88 crore in April 2019 following the order of Patna High Court.

What’s RSBY

RSBY is a health insurance scheme for the below poverty line (BPL) families with the objective of reducing out-of-pocket expenditure on health and enabling increased access to health care. Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalization coverage up to 30,000 per annum on family floater basis, for most of the diseases that require hospitalization.

When was scam exposed

The scam was exposed when the then Samastipur DM Kundan Kumar organized special medical camps to re-examine the women after the administration received complaints about bogus or unnecessary surgeries.

The unholy nexus

In the majority of cases, private hospitals, government officials and insurance companies, acting in collusion, misled the women into thinking that a surgery was required.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Avinash, a senior correspondent, reports on crime, railways, defence and social sector, with specialisation in police, home department and other investigation agencies.

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