Gauhati HC orders Nagaland govt to pay Rs 25 lakh compensation for death of pregnant woman, unborn child
Besides the Rs 25 lakh, the court directed the government to pay Changkai another Rs 15,000 to cover legal expenses, Rs 20,000 under the provision of National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and also reimburse the amount the family spent of taking the deceased to a hospital.Updated: Nov 21, 2019 11:46 IST
The Kohima bench of Gauhati High Court has ordered the Nagaland government to pay Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the family of a 30-year-old pregnant woman, who died with her unborn child three years ago due to lack of proper medical facilities.
In an order passed last week, the court ordered the sum to be paid as “exemplary compensation” to the petitioner Moba Changkai, the stepson of Bema, who died in 2016 during childbirth.
“In this case, the failure on the part of the respondents in the discharge of their duties in making the basic facilities and benefits provided under NRHM scheme or schemes reach the poorest of the poor in the villages of Nagaland,” the order stated.
“But for their failure in the discharge of their duties the precious life of the petitioner’s mother and the unborn child could have been saved,” it added.
The petitioner said his mother, who was pregnant with her seventh child, started having labour pains around 2am on July 11, 2016. During the course of labour, one arm of the baby came out of the birth canal with the help of Changkai’s father.
Since the rest of the baby’s body was stuck inside during delivery, the family hired a private vehicle and tried reaching the district hospital located 130km away from their home in Monyakshu village. But the woman died on the way and the child was stillborn.
The court observed that the incident could have been prevented if the health sub-centre, which is located barely few metres away from the woman’s home and is supposed to have basic facilities for deliveries, was open and functional.
Besides the Rs 25 lakh, the court directed the government to pay Changkai another Rs 15,000 to cover legal expenses, Rs 20,000 under the provision of National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and also reimburse the amount the family spent of taking the deceased to a hospital.
The court further directed the government to comply with the order within three months.
“Since there is an element of negligence on the part of those who are responsible for the implementation of the scheme, if the Government of Nagaland wishes, the amount of compensation may be recovered from those persons responsible,” the order stated.