Pradeep Pattanayak

A consumer court has directed a nursing home in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for giving wrong ultrasound report which resulted in the birth of a physically-challenged male child. 

The nursing home, L&P Hospital, located in Rahama area of Jagatsinghpur has allegedly provided wrong ultrasound reports thrice to one Bandana Das during her pregnancy. 

Das, wife of Manoranjan Chuli of Jayapur village under Tirtol police limits, delivered a male child on September 11, 2021 who is a physically handicapped having no right palm and left leg. Later, she moved the consumer court alleging that the nursing home run by professor Lipsa Das and sonologist Pratap Keshari Das gave ultrasound report to her without pointing any physical deformity of feotus. 

"Had the complainant would have been informed about the disability of the foetus then we could have gone for abortion, " she contended. 

After weighing the case of both sides, the consumer court said, "The opposite parties are liable to pay compensation of Rs 10,00,000 (Rupees Ten lakhs). The amount shall be kept in fixed deposit in the name of child and the complainant will be the custodian of amount. The amount will be deposited in any nationalised bank of the locality. The amount shall be kept for fixed deposit for maximum period available in that bank."

The fixed deposit amount will have auto renewal from time to time and it will be paid to the child only on attending the age of 26 years.
The opposite parties have also been asked to pay Rs 50,000 to the complainant for her mental agony and Rs 4,000 towards the cost of litigation. 

“We lodged a case against the sonologist at the police station but to no avail. Then we sought the help of social activist Snehamayee Madam. Thereafter, we went to the Consumer Court,” said Manoranjan. 

After considering the case of both the sides, the court handed down punishment to the hospital and the sinologist, asking them to keep Rs 10 lakhs in fixed deposit in the name of the child. The opposite parties have been asked to deposit the sum within 45 days from the date of receipt of the order, failing which they shall pay interest at 8 percent per annum on Rs 10 lakh. 

The court also directed the opposite parties to pay Rs 50,000 and Rs 4,000 to Manoranjan’s wife for her mental agony and cost of litigation respectively. 

Referring to this case, senior advocate Om Prakash Das urged people to take help of the consumer court. 

“The consumer court has directed the private hospital authorities to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to the divyang baby boy towards their negligence, Rs 50,000 towards compensation and Rs 4000 towards litigation charges. I would like to say that if any consumer feels being cheated by hospitals they can avail help from District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF),” said Das.