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MP court awards compensation to woman after failure of sterilisation operation

Date : 05/07/2017

Writ Petition No.3634/2016

This petition showed that Komal Bai (the petitioner) had in August, 2011 underwent a sterilisation operation at the Kalapipal CHC in Shajapur in Madhya Pradesh, However, due to a failure of the surgery, Komal became pregnant later. The petition thus sought compensation for the state’s failure and the trauma endured by Komal.

Komal had been married at the age of 19 and after two complicated and expensive pregnancies, she and her husband decided to opt for family planning services, following which she underwent the sterilisation operation. Since she was illiterate, she could not read the consent form she was given to sign and nobody translated it for her from English. Furthermore, no one counselled her or her husband about the procedure, post-surgery care, or the possibility of failure and available compensation. Due to their ignorance, she and her husband were sure that there was no chance of a third pregnancy.

But after the failure of the sterilisation procedure, Komal became pregnant a third time and had to seek an abortion. The petition argued that the state’s failure in ensuring Komal’s reproductive rights was in violation of her fundamental right to life, to health, to equality, and to dignity. The state also failed to fully and adequately implement standards set by Supreme court’s order Ramakant Rai vs.Union of India.

It further noted that this failure of sterilization procedure entitled Komal to “Rs 30,000 as per Section N of the Family Planning Indemnity Scheme, 2013 and the amount of Rs 2 lakh for the suffering and mental illness.”

After perusal of case laws and considering the matter at hand, the court, in its final order directed the Chief Medical and Health Officer, Shajapur to pay Rs 30,000 to Komal Bai within a period of 60 days.

Read the court's order here.

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