Plea before HC seeks magisterial inquiry into death of pregnant women

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J&K High Court on Tuesday issued notice on a plea seeking magisterial inquiry into deaths of some pregnant women allegedly due to medical negligence, and registration of FIR against those responsible for it.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjay Dhar while hearing a Public Interest Litigation issued notice to Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education Department seeking his response on the plea by August 8.

The petition has been moved by a young lawyer, Umar Mir. The petition seeks directions for holding magisterial inquiry into incidents of medical negligence resulting into the death of infant(s) or pregnant women.

The petition also seeks registration of FIR at first instance against those whose negligence caused the death.

While the petition is seeking disciplinary action against the erring official(s), it seeks direction for paying compensation to victims of medical negligence, which should be deducted from the salary of the guilty employees.

The petition also seeks direction upon the Heath department and the district administrations to keep separate maternity care centers for pregnant women and children, equipped with all facilities and separate trained staff.

“Whenever a mother with child in womb reaches a hospital to give birth to him, the medical staff and the administration are under duty to protect and take good care of both the lives,” the petition reads.

Citing newspaper reports the petitioner submits that on 26 April and 3 May, in two separate incidents in district Annatnag a pregnant woman from a red zone area died with her unborn twins, and a 30 year old pregnant woman died with her unborn baby respectively due to alleged medical negligence of the doctors and administration.

The petitioner said it was reported in media that ambulance to the family was denied and it carried the body of the lady to home on trolley.

“On 16 June, Greater Kashmir carried a report titled ‘pregnant woman denied treatment at Handwara hospital”, he said.

“On June 4 a news channel broadcast that a pregnant woman affected by Covid delivered baby on roadside near a quarantine centre and no doctor was present”.

The petitioner submitted that the incidents of death of three children and their mothers shocked the society and raised questions on the preparedness of administration and health department to deal with emergency cases and protection of unborn children.