Awarding nearly nine-fold increase in compensation,the apex consumer commission directed a West Bengal-based doctor to pay Rs 5 lakh to the father of a boy for negligent treatment of the child’s fractured forearm in 1995 which resulted in deformity requiring corrective surgery.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) enhanced the compensation of Rs 55,000 awarded by the West Bengal State Consumer Commission saying that the amount awarded was “grossly inadequate” when compared to nature of “inadequacy of medical treatment” by Dr Debapi Roy.
“Considering the matter in its entirety,this Commission is of the view that the quantum of relief awarded by the State Commission is grossly inadequate,compared to the nature of inadequacy of medical treatment by the opposite party (doctor) and its consequences for the appellant and his son.
“State Commission has infact allowed only reimbursement of cost of treatment and litigation and no compensation. Therefore,in the interest of justice and equity,we deem it necessary to raise it to Rs five lakhs,” a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhan said.
The order came on the plea of the boy’s father,Anup Kumar Kar,who had sought enhancement of the amount awarded by the state commission.
He had contended that due to the negligent and deficient treatment rendered by Dr Roy,the future of his young son has been destroyed and that his family has had to raise huge debts for the child’s prolonged treatment.
Kar had submitted in his plea that despite the state commission concluding that there was negligence on various counts in the treatment of his son,it awarded a very meagre amount of compensation which was highly disproportionate to his long fight for justice since 1995 and his son’s suffering.
The doctor,however,had not appeared even once before the NCDRC to file his reply to the Kar’s appeal against the state commission order.