₹90 lakh indemnity for woman bedridden due to negligence

File photo of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: S. SUBRAMANIUM

The Supreme Court has confirmed nearly ₹90 lakh in compensation for a woman bedridden for 15 years after her teachers neglected to get her timely medical aid for a fever she developed during a school tour.

Akshatha was a 14-year-old from Bengaluru when she left for the educational tour with other students and teachers in December 2006.

The case records show the group visited several places in north India before she was taken ill. Her viral fever was later diagnosed as Meningo Encephalitis. “The doctors opined that had she been given timely medical aid and attention, she could easily have been cured. Ultimately she had to be airlifted in an air ambulance to Bangalore,” a Bench led by Justice Navin Sinha said in its order.

The court noted that she was confined to her bed and the illness has affected her memory and speech with no prospects for recovery. The court said she would not be able to lead a normal life.

The State Consumer Redressal Commission ordered the school management to pay her a compensation of ₹88,73,798. However, the National Commission reduced the amount to 50 lakh without giving any reason whatsoever.

“Judicial discretion is not arbitrary to be exercised sans reason to the prejudice of another. There is no discussion by the National Commission or any reasons spelt out for the formation of this opinion by it to reduce the compensation,” the court said.

The Bench re-affirmed the State Commission’s order and held that the decision of the National Commission was “arbitrary and unsustainable”.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 9:07:57 PM |

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