In a significant ruling, the Orissa High Court has directed the State government to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 each to an advocate, Manoj Kumar Mohanty, and his nephew Biswa Bijay Mohanty, who were mentally and physically tortured by a group of unruly medicos of SCB Medical College and Hospital of the city in 2000.

A single-judge bench of the High Court comprising Justice B K Patel adjudicating over a writ petition on Friday ordered the State government to pay the compensation within eight weeks of the pronouncement of the judgment.

The HC order came as per the recommendation of Justice P K Mishra Commission of Enquiry, which in 2002 had categorically observed that both the uncle and nephew were brutally tortured in the hostel of the medical college throughout the intervening night of July 16-17, 2000.

The commission report was laid on the table of the Assembly in July 2002. However, as the State government did not act upon the recommendation of the Commission for more than 10 years, the victims approached the High Court through a writ petition.

The case inter alia pertains to the death of advocate Manoj Kumar Mohanty’s father on July 16, 2000 due to alleged negligence in treatment while undergoing treatment in the Cuttack-based teaching hospital. The advocate alleged that while his father was writhing in pain after a surgery in his cabin; the resident surgeons were watching pornographic movies in their rest room.

When this shocking incident was brought to the notice of hospital authorities, the irate medicos forcibly dragged Mohanty and his nephew to a nearby hostel and beat them mercilessly. The duo were burnt them with cigarette butts and injected with needles.

The incident created an uproar, triggering a State-wide boycott of courts by lawyers. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the State government instituted a Commission of Enquiry asking the then sitting judge of the High Court Justice P K Mishra to probe the matter.

They were tortured by some medicos for alleging medical negligence