Case No.: CA 2823 of 2020
Facts of the Case
This appeal has been filed before the Honorable Supreme Court pursuing to the order passed by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission on the date of 7th October, 2016. The state through the chief secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other appellant (Safdarjung Hospital) filed such appeal against such order passed wherein the then complaint filed such complaint with regards to medical negligence against the two hospitals i.e. Safdarjung Hospital and Sarvodaya Hospital. The consumer dispute redressal forum allowed the revision filed by the Sarvodaya Hospital. The redressal forum passed an order that is to pay the complainant a compensation of INR 2,00,000/- by the Safdarjung hospital. The complainant herein was the husband of woman, who was brought in to the hospital on the day of 9th March, 2004 and was admitted in the medical emergency room of the Sarvodaya Hospital due to reason of she being pregnant, she was admitted in the room at about five am.
The women the spouse of the complainant delivered a baby at 8 am, 3 hours after the admission time. The spouse herein said that the baby that was delivered by his wife was born prematurely and needed care and protection under the hospital’s ICU in the nursery. The Hospital officials recommended the man and his wife to Safdarjung Hospital for such medical care to the infant. The then complainant filed a complaint stating that he has been cheated in this case as the prior confirming the services of the Hospital it was stated by the hospital employees that the hospital is fully equipped by the Nursery ICU and other facilities as required for all-round medical care of the infants. The complainant after the recommendation further moved to the Safdarjung Hospital on the same day between the 12 pm after-noons to 1 pm. The infant of the complainant was not placed in the Nursery ICU but was initially placed in the general ward and then was transferred to the general ICU. The infant of the complainant then died in the last week of April, 2004. So, a complaint was filed with the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission pleading fair decision regarding the inefficiency of the services provided by the hospitals.
- Whether there is a deficiency of service on the part of the Hospital?
- Whether the second hospital delayed in providing medical care?
- Whether there remain any revision against such order or lies any appeal?
The Supreme Court while recording the facts of the above matter and after hearing the counsels at length the court states its observation the judges mentioned that any organizations which provides free of charge service only are to be considered for creating exception out of Act. The Court sees the facts and opined that in such situation where the challenge inadequate before the district forum and no agency of the government including NCDRC and SCDRC can provide any conclusive decisions also neither this court can conclude the matter filed before it. The court agrees that the compensation awarded in the above matter is relatively small and such small matter will not suffice the requirement of Justice. The court mentioned that the amount of Rs. 2,00,000/- is invalid and less as compared to the loss suffered by the respondents. The Additional Solicitor General M.R. Suri’s suggestion was to provide an opportunity by keeping the jurisdiction of the matter open for laying down the foundation of the facts and evidence from the Safdarjung hospital and from the Union of India. The court finds this suggestion to have complete thoughtfulness in deciding further the matter and any decision then taken by the court will have its complete consensus.
The Court further mentions that it regards not as a precedent of any judgment given by this court or of the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission to decide the question of the law in matter generally. The court finds it is necessary to confine the judgment of the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission to the peculiar factual background as it is been noted in the present case. The court finds it extremely important to figure out whether the act and its provisions are the in parlance to govern the Safdarjung hospital and if it does further factual foundation plays a greater role in deciding the matter.
The Honorable Court decides that no judgment passed by the National Consumer Redressal Commission will be set as a precedent to interpret the general question of law in any matter including the above. The Court is also yet decide that whether under the provision of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 the National Commission has the revision appellate authority or not. The Honorable Court decided that the court does not find itself in a position to deal with matter only on the question of amount involved it affirms the quantum of the compensation awarded to the complainant and passed the judgment.
The amount of INR 2, 00,000/- should be paid to the complainant within the period of 2 months from the date of this order. The Honorable Court also stated that all the appeals related to this matter stands disposed accordingly.