High Court seeks report on compensation

Doctor held guilty for wrong treatment of spinal injury Justice Vikramjit Sen passed the direction after going through an inquiry report of a two-member committee

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Union Government to inform it by next Friday how much it could pay as ex-gratia to a teenage patient who was given wrong treatment for her spinal injury at Safdarjung Hospital last year.

Justice Vikramjit Sen passed the direction after going through an inquiry report of a two-member committee where the doctor who had operated upon the patient for insertion of `Harrington rods' into the spine, was held guilty of doing the surgery and the insertion of implants "badly".

Mr. Justice Sen had on Monday called for the inquiry report as well as the action-taken report to ascertain the culpability, if any, of Dr. Yadu Lal and action taken against him by the hospital authorities.

He had summoned the two reports when counsel for the Director of the Central Institute of Orthopaedics (CIO), Safdarjung Hospital, Ashok Arora, submitted that a two-member committee had held Dr. Lal guilty of negligence and giving wrong treatment to the patient, Manju.


When counsel for the Union Government sought time to take instructions from the authorities concerned on the Court's directions, Mr. Justice Sen asked him to get back to the Court by next Friday.

The patient through her father submitted that she was admitted to the hospital on October 1, 2004, with fracture dislocation of spine with paraplegia. On October 12, she was operated upon and `Harrington rods' were implanted in the spinal cord by the doctor, the petition said.

However, a post-surgery X-ray examination of the spinal cord showed that the surgery performed by the doctor was faulty and the `Harrington rods' had been implanted upside down, which caused further displacement of the vertebrae, the petition alleged.

Submitting that the father of the 12-year-old patient was a roadside barber, counsel for the petitioner sought a suitable compensation as well as directions for action against the "negligent" doctor.

He further submitted that the Court direct the authorities concerned to refer the indigent patient to a super speciality hospital for treatment at the cost of the hospital responsible.

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