Case nº First Appeal No. 320 of 2013 of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, May 21, 2015 (case 1. Amit Sarkar & Anr. S/O. Sh. A.K. Sarkar, 2. Mrs. Konika Sarkar W/O. Sh. Amit Sarkar Vs 1. Pgimer & 3 Ors. (Pgi), Through Its Medical Superintendent/Direector, 2. Advanced Trauma Centre Of Post Graduate Institute Of Medical Education & Research (Pgi) Through Its Centre Incharge, 3. Dr. Jujhar, Junior Resident, Orthopaedics, Atc, 4. Dr. Murali G. Senior Resident, Department Of Forensic Medicine, Post-Graduate Institute Of Medical Education & Research (Pgi))

JudgeFor the Appellant: Mr. Pankaj Chandgothia, Adv. And For the Respondent: Mr. Rajesh Garg, Sr. Adv. Mr. M.K. Tripathi, Adv.
PresidentMr. V.B. Gupta, Presiding Member and Mr. Suresh Chandra, Member
Resolution DateMay 21, 2015


  1. Above appeals are being disposed of by this common order, as these appeals arise from common impugned order dated 1.4.2013, passed by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, U.T. Chandigarh (for short, ''State Commission'') in C.C. No.43 of 2012.

  2. Brief facts are, that only daughter of Complainants-Ms. Anupama, aged about 16 years, studying in Class XI was travelling in a CTU bus on 17.07.2012 from her school to her residence. The bus was being driven rashly and negligently by the bus driver. It is stated, that in the absence of the conductor, she fell down from the bus and her left leg was crushed under the rear tyre of the same. She was taken to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh (for short, ''PGI'') where she died on 24.07.2012, due to medical negligence. It is stated that injured Ms. Anupama was taken to Advance Trauma Centre of PGI (for short, ''ATC'') by the police, where her left leg was bandaged by Dr. Jujhar, Junior Resident (OP No.3). It is alleged that bandaging was done in a most incompetent manner, as blood kept on oozing out. It is further stated, that complainants were told that injured girl required an emergency operation which was being arranged by the Doctors concerned, whereas X-rays and other tests were carried out. It is alleged, that the required operation was never arranged and injured continued to suffer in excruciating pain, both mentally and physically. The condition of injured started deteriorating day by day, but no medical attention was given to her by PGI doctors, after the initial bandaging. So much so, even the bandage was not changed nor the wounds washed for days together, by ATC doctors. The attitude of doctors on duty was most insensitive and opposed to the medical norms. Ultimately, it resulted in development of gangrene and septicemia and Opposite Party No.1-Hospital amputated the left lower limb of Ms.Anupama, in a projected attempt to prevent the gangrene from spreading to other parts of the body. The doctors of Opposite Party No.1 failed to check or control the spread of gangrene, leading finally to the untimely death of Ms.Anupama on 24th July, 2012 at O.P. No.1-Hospital. It is further stated, that O.P. No.1-Hospital itself conducted the post-mortem vide PMR No. 16969 dated 24.7.2012. The perusal of PMR clearly showed, that Ms.Anupama was duly admitted to O.P. No.1-Hospital on 17.7.2012. Thus, there was medical negligence on the part of O.P. No.1-Hospital and its concerned doctors.

  3. It is further stated that O.P. No.1-Hospital was taking the plea of over-crowding in its OTs. However, the precious life could have been saved even without operation, had adequate medical care and treatment been provided. The cause of infection and gangrene was because the dressings and bandages of the patient were never changed. The deep wounds were never washed hygienically and medical treatment prior to operation was not adequately provided. In case, O.P. No.1-Hospital was unable to provide adequate and proper medical care to the patient, it should have referred her to some other Hospital, which also it failed to do. It is further alleged, that O.P. No.1-- Hospital was deliberately keeping the treatment history and medical papers of the deceased under wraps, so that the same could be manipulated to their advantage and help them escape the charge of medical negligence and apathy.

  4. It is further stated that Opposite Party No.5, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (for short, ''CTU''), was also guilty of deficiency in service, because the bus which caused the accident, was not insured. In fact, none of the buses of CTU were insured. They are being plied in violation of the Motor Vehicle Act, which mandates that a vehicle can neither be registered nor be plied on road without a valid insurance cover. It is further stated that present case is a case of "Res Ipsa Loquitor". It is further stated that family of complainants is poor and indigent. Their only daughter Ms.Anupama, was their future hope and bread-earner for the family. Ms.Anupama was a bright student who had just cleared her Xth Class with over 70% marks in First Division and had a promising future ahead. But her life and prospects were cut short, on account of negligence of the Opposite Parties. It is further stated, that aforesaid acts of the doctors of O.P.No.1-- Hospital amounted to medical negligence and deficiency in rendering service. Therefore, a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short, ''Act'') was filed seeking the following reliefs.

    1. Rs. One lakh towards re-imbursement of medical and other expenses;

    2. Rs.50 lakhs towards loss of future earnings and dependency of their only daughter. Anupama was the only daughter of the complainants and their only future hope in the evening of their life. She was a bright student having passed her 10th in First Division with over 70 % marks. In the death of Anupama, the complainants have lost all meaning and worth of their life.

    3. Rs.5 lakhs as compensation for the pain and suffering suffered by the deceased during her treatment and by the complainants, equally.

    4. Rs.10 lakhs for the life-long pain and suffering caused to the complainants. They have lost their only daughter and their only reason to live in this world.

    5. Rs.10 lakhs as token compensation and damages be awarded against the Opposite Party No.5, CTU, for committing deficiency in service and unfair trade practice by running un-insured buses.

    6. Rs. 10 lakhs as punitive damages against all the Opposite Parties to be credited in favour of the UT State Legal Services Authority.

  5. In their written statement, Opposite Parties No.1 to 4 denied that the bandage was done in an incompetent manner. According to them, the blood oozing from the dressing was because of the wound. It is denied that operation was never arranged. It is stated that as per record, Ms.Anupama was planned for surgery-- debridgement-external fixator at the time of admission. Complainants have themselves stated in their complaint, that on 18.07.2012, operational medicines and implant were ordered for the patient, which is indicative of the fact that the surgery was duly planned. The Central Registration File (Cr File) shows, that patient was transfused blood. Due to heavy rush of the patients, she was taken up for surgery on the night of 19.07.2012, as on an average in those days were 80-90 patients admitted in the Department of Orthopedics in ATC against available 17 beds. Out of these 8 similar serious open fracture surgeries were pending. Out of two operation tables in the ATC, one was exclusively dedicated to these "serious open fracture surgeries" i.e. 50% of the available infrastructure. Ms.Anupama could not be given preference over those 8 patients, as it would have amounted to sacrificing other 8 patients'' interest. As it was, in spite of approximately 40 patients pending for surgery, she was put on priority list among 8 patients of "serious open fracture surgeries".

  6. It is further stated that due to heavy rush of the patients, the patient was first taken up for surgery on 19.07.2012. The statistics of the relevant period i.e. 17th to 19th July, 2012 regarding total cases with ATC has been reproduced, in para 4 of the written statement. It is also stated, that patient was found unfit for anesthesia and was shifted back to the operation theatre recovery. Further, it was recorded in CR file that after mid-night of 19.07.2012, the patient was anemic and blood pressure was 85/50.

  7. As per record, patient was actually taken up for surgery at the operation theatre but since she was haemodynamically unstable, she was transfused 4 units of blood and two units of fresh frozen plasma. Further, the patient was taken up for surgery on the morning of 20.07.2012, when she underwent hip disarticulation and debridement of the anterior abdominal wall. It is denied, that patient was not given medical attention or that the bandage was not changed, which resulted into gangrene and septicemia. It is further stated, that gangrene and sepsis could also set in, following severe wound contamination due to the mechanism of injury (crushing) and place of injury (road side accident). Further, dressing was changed three times before surgery, one each on 17th, 18th and 19th July, 2012. It is denied, that attitude of the doctors on duty was either insensitive or opposed to medical norms. It is denied, that patient lost consciousness on 20.07.2012 due to pain and trauma.

  8. It is further stated, that despite the surgery for hip disarticulation, patient went into shock and CPR was given and a defibrillator was used to revive the heart. She was intubated and put on a ventilator with triple inotropes. Due to persistent low blood pressure, she developed decreased urine output on 21.07.2012. Peritoneal dialysis was started and it continued. Further, Ms.Anupama suffered cardio-respiratory arrest on 24.07.2012 and unfortunately she expired. It is also stated, that the crushed nercotic tissue needed removal and disarticulation of the...

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