Pravin Mahajan wife to get Rs 7 lakh

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has ordered the state government to pay Rs 7 lakh compensation to the widow of Pravin Mahajan for negligence of jail authorities in providing him treatment as a result of which susbstantial amount was spent by his family for his stay in a private hospital. The Commission has also asked the state government to institute an inquiry against the concerned medical officers and take appropriate action.

Pravin was arrested for the murder of his brother and BJP leader Pramod Mahajan on April 22, 2006. He was convicted on December 18, 2007 and released on furlough in November 2009. A day before he was to surrender, Pravin collapsed and was admitted to hospital where he died on March 3, 2010.

His widow Sarangi had filed a complaint with the rights panel alleging that the police and jail authorities did not provide Pravin proper treatment despite being informed that he was suffering from blood pressure and diabetes and prayed for action against the errant officers.

Sarangi did not ask for compensation, although she orally stated that she had spent Rs 20 lakh on Pravin`s treatment. However, the Commission, in its December 8 order, asked the state to pay compensation to her considering that she had spent substantial amount for his treatment in a private hospital. "In the opinion of the Commission, the complainant is entitled to be compensated for medical expenses incurred by her," panel members Justices V G Munshi and Kshitij R Vyas, observed.

"In the absence of any bills for medical treatment on record it would not be proper for the Commission to recommend amount of compensation claimed for. However, the Commission cannot overlook the fact that the deceased remained in a private hospital for more than three months and therefore it is reasonable to infer that the complainant must have spent considerable amount on treatment of her husband", they noted. The commission therefore asked the state to pay Rs 7 lakh within two months of the complainant producing medical bills of Pravin`s treatment.