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Madras HC directs State govt to provide free education to a child born due to botched tubectomy

Madras HC directs State govt to provide free education to a child born due to botched tubectomy

Recently, Madras High Court directs the DMK government of Tamil Nadu to pay ₹3 lakh as compensation to a woman, who got pregnant and gave birth to a male child despite having undergone a tubectomy procedure at a government hospital in the State.

The bench headed by Justice B Pugalendhi of the Madurai bench of the High Court also directed the State government to provide the child with free education in a government or a private school and to pay an annual maintenance of ₹1.2 lakh until he graduates or turns 21 years old, to meet the expenses of raising him.

"Family Planning is a National Programme being implemented through various Government Hospitals and Health Centres. The implementation of the programme is directly in the hands of the Government, including the Medical Officers. The Medical Officers entrusted with the implementation of the Family Planning Programme cannot, by their negligent acts in not performing the complete sterilization operation, sabotage the scheme of national importance," the High Court said.

In the said matter, the Court was hearing a petition filed by the woman, one Vasuki, seeking compensation to of ₹25 lakh from the State. The 
Court noted that the mother of the child opted for a family planning scheme and it was the duty of the State-run hospital and its medical officers to ensure there was no negligence on their part.
The woman approached Court saying she did not have enough money to raise a third child. She said that since the tubectomy was unsuccessful, the respondent hospital and the concerned doctor were vicariously and jointly liable.

The State government argued that the woman had probably failed to follow the doctors' advice and the prescriptions following the surgery.

"The petitioner is entitled for a compensation of ₹3,00,000. The respondents shall provide free education to the third child of the petitioner, either in a Government School or in a Private School. The fees already paid, if any, shall be refunded and all the expenses on books, stationary, uniforms and other miscellaneous educational expenses shall also be met by the respondents. Further, the respondents shall pay a sum of ₹1,20,000 per year [₹10,000 per month] meet the child's need for food and proper up-bringing till he completes his graduation or attaining 21 years, whichever is earlier," the High Court said.

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