Delhi HC Seeks Reply on Compensation for Covid Victim Due to ‘Medical Negligence’

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Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI – The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Delhi government on a plea seeking compensation for the next of kin of a Covid-19 patient, who allegedly died without getting proper medical attention.

In the plea, the family members of the deceased person sought compensation due to the “complete mismanagement” and “criminal negligence” of the authorities.

The plea claimed that the victim’s oxygen level was very low and his condition was critical, yet the doctor at the hospital did not recommend admission and due to his negligence, the man died while waiting for an ambulance.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh also asked the Delhi government-run Rao Tula Ram Hospital to respond to the plea.

After going through the Supreme Court order, which noted that the authority has fixed minimum ex gratia compensation payable to the next of kin of the deceased on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, the high court made NDMA a party in the petition.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi government, submitted that it is proposing to give ex gratia relief to families of Covid-19 victims and it will be placed before the Cabinet next week.

The plea was filed by the parents and wife of Naveen, who died of Covid-19 on the intervening night of April 26-27, allegedly due to doctor’s negligence and want of medical attention.

The petitioners, represented through advocates Anuj Chauhan and Anand, submitted that the deceased person’s oxygen level was recorded at 60 in the Rao Tula Ram Hospital, yet he was denied medical treatment.

The family kept waiting for an ambulance to shift the deceased to another hospital after he was denied admission. The family claimed to have dialled 100 seeking police help and also the Delhi government’s cab service, but it did not get any response, even as the patient succumbed to the disease.

The high court asked the Delhi government, the hospital and the NDMA to file counter affidavits on the plea and scheduled the matter for further hearing in July.

The petitioners also sought the court’s direction to the authorities to bring on record whether oxygen was available at hospital on April 26. -IANS

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