The Rajasthan High Court directed to give 4 Lakhs as compensation to a woman who was forced to give birth in the middle of a road and lost her twins subsequently.

The court directed a wider circulation of beneficial schemes to reduce infant and maternal mortality. The Court termed this incident as “a heart breaking, nerve cracking, conscious shocking and society rocking, tragic, pathetic incident.”

In April 2016, a woman was forced to deliver twin children in the middle of the road in a market due to the reckless and negligent behaviour of the officials of the staff posted at the Community Health Centre (CHC). The newly born twin children lost their lives due to the absence of urgent medical attention.

A Single Bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand observed, “In spite of having several schemes like Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), Pradhan Mantari Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), etc., the petitioner did not get free treatment, medicines and unfortunately she lost her newly born twin children due to grave negligent act of the respondents. Hence, under these circumstances, the petitioner has been compelled to knock the doors of this Court by way of filing this writ petition, invoking the extra-ordinary jurisdiction of this Court.

Advocate Sudhindra Kumawat represented the petitioner, while ASG R.D. Rastogi appeared for the respondents.

The woman had prayed before the Court for effective implementation of the JSSK and JSY Schemes, to conduct an enquiry against the authorities responsible, and for payment of compensation of Rs.2 Lakhs for the death of each newborn baby.

The High Court cited a verse from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and remarked that the “verse of Upanishad has been grossly violated in this case. The instant case is a classic example of death of humanity on the part of the erring officials of the respondents.

The Court stated that in spite of several beneficial Schemes for the welfare of pregnant females and infants, the government miserably failed to discharge its duties in providing the benefits of these Schemes to the petitioner and her newborn infants.

After referring to Article 21 of the Constitution, the Court noted that the bare minimum obligation of the State is to ensure the preservation of the right to life and health, as the right to health is an integral part of right to life.

The Court further observed, “Our Constitution envisages the establishment of a welfare state at the Federal Level as well as the State Level. In a welfare state, the primary duty of the Government is to secure the welfare of the people. Providing adequate medical facilities for the people is an essential part of the obligations undertaken by the Government in a welfare state.”

The Court noted several shortcomings in the various Schemes of both the Central and State Governments and held that they were liable to be rectified. The Court issued various directions pertaining to wider circulation of schemes, monetary compensation under them, and assistance to beneficiaries, among other directions.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the writ petition.

Cause Title: Phoolmati v. The State of Rajasthan & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:RJ-JP:7673)


Petitioner: Advocate Sudhindra Kumawat

Respondents: ASG R.D.Rastogi; AGC Bharat Saini; Advocate C.S.Sinha

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