Rajasthan High Court orders ₹4 Lakh compensation for Woman forced to give Birth on Road

Author : Nimisha Nayak

Updated On : February 22, 2024

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In a landmark ruling, the Rajasthan High Court has mandated the Union of India, along with the Rajasthan state government, to compensate a woman with ₹4 lakh for a heart-wrenching ordeal she endured in 2016. The woman, identified as Phoolmati, was compelled to deliver her twins by the roadside, an incident that led to the untimely demise of both infants. This tragic event was sharply criticized by the court as a "death of humanity," attributing it to the gross negligence of the staff at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Khedli.

Phoolmati's harrowing experience began when she was refused treatment at the CHC due to her lack of a Mamta card, a critical document designed to ensure pregnant women receive the necessary medical assistance. Left with no choice, she gave birth on the road, and the absence of prompt medical care resulted in the death of her newborns. In seeking justice, Phoolmati turned to the High Court, demanding accountability for the health staff's negligence and a call for the effective application of welfare schemes aimed at supporting pregnant women.

The court's scrutiny revealed several government initiatives like the National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality.

Yet, it lamented the failure to deliver the benefits of these programs to Phoolmati and her babies, criticizing the Union of India for trying to shirk responsibility by citing health as a state matter. The judgement emphasized that health is a collective concern, requiring both central and state authorities to work in tandem to ensure the success of healthcare initiatives.

Highlighting the grave negligence and failure to act by the medical professionals involved, the court decreed that both the Union of India and the Rajasthan government are jointly responsible for compensating Phoolmati with ₹4 lakh. This amount is to be secured in a fixed deposit for three years, with the interest payable to her quarterly. Additionally, an immediate relief of ₹25,000 was ordered for Phoolmati, along with the establishment of a Joint High-Powered Committee.

This committee, comprising representatives from both the Union of India and the Government of Rajasthan, is tasked with identifying and rectifying the flaws in the implementation of welfare schemes for pregnant women, including the proposition to increase cash benefits for them before and after delivery.

This verdict underscores the crucial need for the effective execution of welfare schemes to prevent such tragic incidents and to protect the healthcare rights of all citizens.

Rajasthan High Court orders ₹4 Lakh compensation for Woman forced to give Birth on Road

Author : Nimisha Nayak

February 22, 2024

SHARE

In a landmark ruling, the Rajasthan High Court has mandated the Union of India, along with the Rajasthan state government, to compensate a woman with ₹4 lakh for a heart-wrenching ordeal she endured in 2016. The woman, identified as Phoolmati, was compelled to deliver her twins by the roadside, an incident that led to the untimely demise of both infants. This tragic event was sharply criticized by the court as a "death of humanity," attributing it to the gross negligence of the staff at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Khedli.

Phoolmati's harrowing experience began when she was refused treatment at the CHC due to her lack of a Mamta card, a critical document designed to ensure pregnant women receive the necessary medical assistance. Left with no choice, she gave birth on the road, and the absence of prompt medical care resulted in the death of her newborns. In seeking justice, Phoolmati turned to the High Court, demanding accountability for the health staff's negligence and a call for the effective application of welfare schemes aimed at supporting pregnant women.

The court's scrutiny revealed several government initiatives like the National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality.

Yet, it lamented the failure to deliver the benefits of these programs to Phoolmati and her babies, criticizing the Union of India for trying to shirk responsibility by citing health as a state matter. The judgement emphasized that health is a collective concern, requiring both central and state authorities to work in tandem to ensure the success of healthcare initiatives.

Highlighting the grave negligence and failure to act by the medical professionals involved, the court decreed that both the Union of India and the Rajasthan government are jointly responsible for compensating Phoolmati with ₹4 lakh. This amount is to be secured in a fixed deposit for three years, with the interest payable to her quarterly. Additionally, an immediate relief of ₹25,000 was ordered for Phoolmati, along with the establishment of a Joint High-Powered Committee.

This committee, comprising representatives from both the Union of India and the Government of Rajasthan, is tasked with identifying and rectifying the flaws in the implementation of welfare schemes for pregnant women, including the proposition to increase cash benefits for them before and after delivery.

This verdict underscores the crucial need for the effective execution of welfare schemes to prevent such tragic incidents and to protect the healthcare rights of all citizens.

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