Tribune News Service
Bathinda, September 5
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Punjab Chief Secretary to pay a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to two victims who were transfused HIV-positive blood at the Bathinda Civil Hospital last year and also submit a compliance report along with the proof of payment before October 26.
In a letter, the NHRC said the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the hospital had filed a reply to its previous letter (regarding issuance of compensation to the victims), but there was still no clarity as to whether the relief had been paid to the victims or not.
A seven-year-old thalassemic girl and another woman were transfused HIV-positive blood at the blood bank unit of the Civil Hospital. Later, owing to gross negligence on the part of the staff, four more patients were given this blood on different occasions, thereby, putting their lives in danger.
After taking note of reports carried in various newspapers, a Jalandhar-based human rights activist, Kulwant Nagra, had written to the NHRC to intervene in the matter and provide justice to the victims and their families.
Earlier, the NHRC had directed the Chief Secretary to pay compensation to the victims and file a compliance report before August 27. But the NHRC noted that the directions were not being adhered to, prompting it to send another letter now.
In a fresh letter to the Chief Secretary and the SMO, NHRC Deputy Director Debindra Kundra said the compensation should be given to the victims at the earliest, failing which the commission would exercise its powers to ensure compliance of the directive.
The letter said the SMO, in his reply, had mentioned that in compliance of the order dated July 20, the state government had already ordered the process of releasing the payment as directed by the commission and it would be remitted as soon as the requisite formalities were completed.
Bathinda Civil Hospital SMO Dr Maninder Singh said: “We have written to the higher authorities of the health department to release the compensation to the victims. We are now waiting for their response.”
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