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ZP to pay Rs 5 lakh for girl’s death due to delay in treatment

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed Solapur Zilla Parishad to pay Rs 5 lakhs compensation to a man whose five-year-old daughter died as she could not get medical treatment in time due to delay in release of government funds.

A bench headed by Justice Oka also directed the Solapur Zilla Parishad to pay interest at the rate of nine per cent on the compensation amount until the payment is made to Azmoddin Munir Shaikh, who lost his daughter due to delay in issuance of order to release funds for the purpose.

Shaikh’s daughter Soufiya suffered from a serious brain disease known as ‘Hydrocephalus with Cerebral Palsy’, which affected both her hands and legs.

As funds were not released in time, Soufiya could not get treatment and died on September 1, 2013.

Being aggrieved, her father filed a petition seeking compensation. Shaikh said that funds under the Centre’s ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ were released to zilla parishads which had been asked to identify the disabled and poor students and provide them medical treatment in recognised hospitals.

Three state-run hospitals in Sangli district were asked to conduct health camps in various talukas. The camps were organised for examining the children who were suffering from various disabilities. The civil surgeon of Solapur had submitted a report on July 6, 2013, to the CEO of Solapur Zilla Parishad, the petition said.

The report was based on recommendation submitted by Shri Annasaheb Shinde Mhaisalkar Charitable Trust, Sangli. The trust examined disabled students needing surgery and had submitted a detailed report as regards 29 students.

The report said that the estimates submitted by the trust of the expenditure on conducting tests, treatment and surgery were proper. Therefore, the civil surgeon recommended the said proposal for sanction.

The case made out in the petition is that on the basis of the said approval granted by the civil surgeon, no order was immediately issued by the zilla parishad’s chief executive officer. The said order was belatedly issued on September 3, 2013, while Soufiya died two days prior to it on September 1.

The court observed that, “There was no reason for theĀ  zilla parishad to delay the approval till September 3, 2013. The civil surgeon had requested the parishad’s chief executive officer to take immediate decision as there was an urgency. There is no explanation from ZP for this delay. As a result of inaction on the part of ZP, the life of the petitioner’s daughter was unfortunately lost as surgery was not performed.”

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