‘Pain of the parents whose child is dead would be less than those parents whose child is lost’
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by the Delhi Government against a trial court judgment here directing it to pay damages of Rs.5 lakh to the mother of a newborn boy who was kidnapped from Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital here last year.
The trial court had granted the compensation to the mother, Sudha Devi, on a suit filed by her. Holding the State Government and the hospital jointly and severally liable for payment of compensation, it had observed that it was the duty of the hospital authorities to ensure that patients admitted there were not visited by any harm.
In the appeal, counsel for the Government argued that since the hospital run by his client did not charge any money, it would not be responsible for the safety of the patients admitted there. He further submitted that merely because the hospital had made arrangements for secu-rity did not mean that pati-ents admitted there and their attendants were absolved of the duty to take care of themselves or their children.
Dismissing the contention, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Pradeep Nandarajog and Justice J. R. Midha said: “We concur with the view taken by the trial judge that Sudha Devi was entitled to recover damages from the hospital authorities and the Delhi Government which had established the hospital….The pain and suffering of the parents whose child is dead would be less than those parents whose child is lost and is not found.”
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