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HC Awards ₹30K CoW.P.(C) No. 14586 of 2013 Compensation to Woman Who Conceived After Sterilization

In a groundbreaking verdict, the Orissa High Court has ruled in favor of Smt. Moti Prava Mohanty, a petitioner seeking compensation for alleged medical negligence during a sterilization procedure.

The case brought before Justice S. K. Panigrahi, shed light on the complexities surrounding family planning programs and medical procedures.

The petitioner, represented by Mr. RK Swain, Advocate, brought forth a compelling argument alleging negligence on the part of the health authorities in Orissa. The crux of the petitioner’s case rested on the failure of a family planning operation conducted at Tangi PHC, despite assurances of its success. This failure resulted in an unexpected conception, challenging the efficacy of the state’s family planning initiatives.

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Counsel for the petitioner emphasized the financial hardships faced by the petitioner’s family, relying on irregular daily wages and government-issued Poverty Line status. The petitioner’s decision to undergo sterilization was influenced by the state’s encouragement of family planning measures, including incentives like the Green Card scheme. However, the subsequent conception raised questions about the reliability of such procedures.

In response, Mr. Sonak Mishra, representing the State of Orissa, cited the Family Planning Insurance Scheme, which provides compensation for failed sterilizations. The counsel referenced the case of State of Punjab v Shiv Ram and Others, highlighting the inherent risks associated with sterilization procedures and the limitations of compensation in cases of natural conception post-operation.

In delivering the judgment, Justice SK Panigrahi referred to the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the case of the State of Punjab v Shiv Ram and Others. The court acknowledged the complexities of sterilization procedures, recognizing that no method guarantees 100% success. Despite finding no evidence of negligence, the court exercised discretion, considering the petitioner’s economic status and the state’s scheme.

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The court, “The cause of action for claiming compensation in cases of failed sterilization operation arises on account of negligence of the surgeon and not on account of childbirth.” The court awarded Rs. 30,000 compensation to the petitioner, reflecting a balance between legal precedent and socio-economic considerations.

Case Name: Smt. Moti Prava Mohanty Vs.State of Orissa & Ors

Case No.: WP(C) No. 14586 of 2013

Bench: Justice SK Panigrahi

Order Dated:19.4.2024

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