HC Dismisses Delhi Govt’s Appeal Against ₹23 Lakh Compensation To Vegetable Vendor Over Medical Negligence
The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea preferred by the Government of NCT of Delhi against the judgment passed by the Single Judge to pay a sum of Rs. 23,47,680/- to a vegetable vendor as compensation along with an interest at the rate of 9% per annum.
The compensation in this matter was granted by the Single Judge to the vegetable vendor as a result of medical negligence committed by a hospital.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “The contention of the learned ASC that the compensation must be assessed in accordance with the Workmen Compensation Act cannot be accepted. … the computation of compensation cannot be found fault with. The Respondent has also not challenged the Order seeking enhancement of the compensation as directed by the learned Single Judge. Therefore, the Judgment passed by the learned Single Judge does not require any interference and the instant appeal preferred by the Appellants cannot succeed.”
The Bench also noted that the poor vegetable vendor who got discharged himself from the hospital cannot be said to have contributed to the negligence of the doctors on duty.
ASC Satyakam appeared on behalf of the appellants while Advocates Hetvi Patel and Rohit Saini appeared on behalf of the respondent.
The respondent i.e., the vegetable vendor approached the hospital complaining of lower abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting and came out of losing his hand. The disability certificate issued by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital was produced by the respondent which determined his permanent disability at 90%. The disability certificate also stated that his condition is not likely to improve.
The respondent was administered three injections out of which two led to complications. He was then diagnosed with Thrombophlebitis and was administered two more injections. He was later admitted to another hospital as he was diagnosed with Compartment Syndrome and was thereafter advised to get his affected arm amputated. The Single Judge while accepting the plea filed by the respondent granted compensation to him.
The Division Bench of the High Court in the above regard asserted, “The right upper limb of the Respondent has been affected from elbow downwards. The upper two third of ulnar bone is exposed, grossly infected and non-viable. There is stiffness of elbow joint. The supination and pronation movement is restricted. There is stiffness of wrist joint, MP Joints, PIP joints and DIP joints of all the fingers. The thumb is gangrenous line of demarcation at distal to MP Joint. There is partial sensation in the forearm. It has been opined by the Dr. RML Hospital that in view of severe stiffness of wrist and small joints and sensory impairment limb will have negligible Junction and amputation of right forearm and hand at elbow Joint may be considered in the long run. This means that Respondent herein has virtually lost his right arm.”
The Court further observed that the appellants have not disputed the computation of the monthly income of the respondent i.e., Rs.12,000/- per month and that the multiplier of 14 which has been used in the calculation of compensation relying upon a judgment of the Apex Court also cannot be faulted with.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeal.
Cause Title- Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr. v. Shri Pal (Neutral Citation: 2023/DHC/001379)