High Court orders establishment of dispensaries on all its campuses
Mohamed Imranullah S.
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday ordered the Director of Medical and Rural Health Services to establish dispensaries in all court premises across the State. The court also gave liberty to all Bar Associations and lawyers to approach the High Court if there was any difficulty in getting immediate medical aid in and around the court premises in any district.
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice R. Subbiah passed the orders while disposing of a writ petition taken up suo motu following the death of a 33-year-old lawyer D. Navaneethakrishnan due to cardiac arrest on November 27, 2007.
The delay in taking him to the hospital from the Madurai Bench had sparked widespread protest among lawyers.
The judges also directed the State Government to pay a compensation of Rs.10 lakh to the family of the deceased lawyer after deducting an ex-gratia of Rs.3 lakh already paid. The balance amount must be paid within four weeks.
Writing the judgement, Mr. Justice Vasanthakumar recalled that the court had constituted a High Level Committee in 2007 headed by its retired judge K. Gnanaprakasam to recommend steps to improve medical facilities in all court campuses.
Further, in a counter affidavit, the Director of Medical and Rural Health Services had stated that the Government had also introduced a new ambulance service titled '108'.
One senior civil surgeon was also posted in the dispensary attached to the Bench.
Therefore, the judges closed the case with a direction to the government to post a woman civil surgeon too at the dispensary.
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Also read the related case law reported in Current Writ Cases [a publication of Current Tamil Nadu Cases (CTC)] as follows:
Constitution of India, Art.21 – Advocate dying inside High Court campus maintained by Government – Non-provision of immediate medical treatment is a violation of right guaranteed under Art.21 – Provision of medical care to meet any kind of disease to a citizen is a Constitutional obligation of a welfare State – Held, Government duty bound to pay compensation to legal heirs of deceased Advocate. (DOJ: 04-03-2011) (The Registrar (Administration), Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, Madurai Vs. The Secretary to Govt. Health & Family Welfare Department, Chennai and 10 others) (Suo-motu Writ Petition (MD) No.9995 of 2007) (N.Paul Vasanthakumar and R.Subbiah, JJ) (2011 (1) CWC 786, DB, Madurai Bench)
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