NCDRC orders Chandigarh doc to pay negligent treatment victim Rs70 lakh

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has asked a doctor in Chandigarh to pay Rs70 lakh to a young man whose left leg had to be amputated due to the doctor's negligence when he suffered an accident as a teenager in July 2003.

The victim Abhishek Ahluwalia's mother, Anuradha Ahluwalia, had approached the apex consumer commission against the order passed by the Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which had rejected her plea for compensation.

"It is the respondent No 1 (Dr Saluja) alone who is to be blamed for such an unfortunate incident. We hold that medical negligence on [the doctor's] part is writ large in this case ... therefore, we direct respondent No 1 to pay the aforesaid amount (Rs70 lakh) to appellant no[the patient] by way of a demand draft in his name," the bench, presided over by Justice V B Gupta, said.

The judge said the doctor had treated the patient in a ''casual manner and applied the dynacast plaster so tight that on regaining consciousness, the boy complained about acute pain in his left leg which led to formation of blisters and gangrene in the skin''.

It was also observed that had his leg not been amputated by the doctors of another hospital where the boy was admitted when his condition deteriorated, his life would have been in danger.

The victim's mother Anuradha had submitted that after her son Abhishek sustained a fracture in his leg on 11 July 2003, while playing in school, and was taken to the clinic of Dr Sanjay Saluja, who was recommended by the school.

Dr Saluja recommended Abhishek to INSCOL Hospital, where he was treated and later referred to another hospital. INSCOL Hospital, however, was not held negligent by the commission.