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Archives for : National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Next Chief Justice of India favours reservation in higher judiciary

 

R. BALAJI
New Delhi, July 1: Chief Justice of India-designate Justice P. Sathasivam has favoured reservation for members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes in the higher judiciary, such as Supreme Court and high court judges’ posts.

Justice Sathasivam, who will take over as the country’s Chief Justice on July 19 from the incumbent, Justice Altamas Kabir, felt that members of the SCs, STs and OBCs could be elevated to the higher judiciary by giving them certain concessions in the appointment process, provided they fulfilled minimum requirements.

In an interview with The Telegraph here today at his residence, Justice Sathasivam said that such an arrangement would go a long way in assuring all sections of the society that their well-being was taken care by the country, irrespective of their social moorings.

“Yes, you are correct. We need to have some sort of reservation and representations for SCs, STs and OBCs. But at the same time we cannot ignore the minimum standards which are already in vogue for appointment. It does not mean we have to select a person far junior or who lacks merit. But we have to give them some concession,” the judge said.

“But they must satisfy the minimum requirements. It is in our (judges) mind. You can also say it is in my mind. I am anxious that persons from SC, ST and OBCs are appointed. Of course, there are members of the OBCs who are already in the higher judiciary,” Justice Sathasivam said in response to a query.

Although not specifically related to the ongoing tussle between the Bengal government and the state election commission on the former’s plea to re-schedule the panchayat polls in view of the Ramazan month, the Chief Justice-designate said courts and the election commission have to take note of public sentiments.

Refraining from directly commenting on the Bengal situation, Justice Sathasivam said: “Normally, the courts and the election commission have to take note of the sentiments of the people if the majority of the people feel inconvenienced. For example, during the Ramazan month, many employees leave their offices early. Even judges leave the courts early… that is because a devout Muslim is not allowed even to swallow his saliva. So we can’t have rigid rules or any straitjacket formula for such an issue. It all depends on the facts of each case.”

He rejected the government’s bid to bring in a judicial appointments commission to replace the present collegium system. Justice Sathasivam said the government could not claim that it would have its own representatives in the judiciary.

“The government cannot include their names as, by and large, the high court and the Supreme Court collegiums keep everything in mind while giving representations to all sections. Law officers like advocates-general, additional advocates-general, central government law officers, government pleaders are provided representation in the appointments,” he said.

The Chief Justice-designate agreed with a suggestion that judges of the Supreme Court should have a cooling period before accepting post-retirement jobs in tribunals like TDSAT (the Telecom Disputes Settlement Authority Tribunal), CAT (the Central Administrative Tribunal), NCDRC (the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission) to insulate the judiciary from allurement from political executives.

Conceding that the judiciary was not 100 per cent free of corruption, Justice Sathasivam said that the institution was still transparent unlike other wings like the legislature and the executive.

He pointed out that if a presiding judge in a subordinate court passed an order on the basis of some extraneous considerations, it was liable to be set aside by the higher judiciary — a remedy not available to the citizens before the other wings of the government.

 

 

 

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#India – Medical negligence: Father compensated for daughter’s death #Vaw

New Delhi | Wednesday, 2013 10:06:05 AM IST

The father of a pregnant woman, who died after a negligent doctor treated her for cancer that she did not suffer from, has been awarded compensation of Rs.5 lakh by the apex consumer court.The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held Chennai-based doctor Kurien Joseph and Joseph Nursing Home in the city guilty of medical negligence and upheld the Tamil Nadu Consumer Commission’s decision that “there was medical negligence on their part in giving wrong and irrational medical treatment to the patient for a disease which she did not have”.”The rounds of chemotherapy given to her caused untold damage to her and were also responsible for her death,” said commission president Ashok Bhan and member Vineeta Rai recently, dismissing an appeal filed by the doctor and the nursing home.Joseph and the nursing home were directed to pay by June 2 a sum of Rs.5 lakh as compensation to victim G. Ushanandhini’s father Govindarajan, failing which the amount would carry an interest of 9 percent per annum, together with Rs.3,000 as costs, the commission said.The doctor and the nursing home have the option of challenging the decision in the Supreme Court.Govindarajan, a resident of Jothi Ramalingam Nagar in Perambakkam, sought compensation of Rs.10 lakh in his complaint, which stated that the cancer treatment given to his daughter was not correct since she was not suffering from the disease. Ushanandhini was admitted with complaints of stomach pain and menstural discharge despite being pregnant.The commission held the doctor and the nursing home guilty of ignoring a pathologist’s advice to conduct tests for cancer before starting the treatment.”Despite specific advice of the pathologist to correlate the provisional finding of carcinoma with the clinical picture and conduct biological test in dilutions of the patient, the appellants failed to heed this and did not conduct the required tests nor did they consult an oncologist or get biopsy done, which is the common procedure undertaken in cases of suspected cancer of this nature involving mass in the abdomen and growths,” Bhan said.The doctor and the nursing home took the defence that there were important and more than adequate indicators to confirm that the patient had cancer and that there was no need for other tests, including biopsy, which could have caused her further damage.The commission rejected the contention and said: “We are unable to accept this contention of the appellants.No medical report has been produced to conclude that Ushanandhini was suffering from cancer.”The doctor, not having conclusively established that the deceased was suffering from cancer, should have realised that chemotherapy was ill-advised on the patient. “We, therefore, hold that the opposite parties had been negligent in treating the patient and this had been the cause for the death of the patient,” the judgment said.”We note that appellants had deposited a sum of Rs.2.50 lakh with the state commission, vide this commission’s order of Feb 5, 2008. In that case, this amount be released to Govindarajan with interest accrued thereon and appellants are directed to pay the remaining amount as directed above,” Bhan said.(Rahul Chhabara can be contacted at [email protected])–Indo-Asian News Service rah/vm/tb

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