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Hospital Releases Dead Body to Wrong Family: Supreme Court Stays NCDRC Order Reducing Compensation [READ ORDER]

Justice RF Nariman and Navin Sinha issued notice to the Respondent and stayed the order of NCDRC in the case of PR Jayasree & Anr v. Ernakulam Medical Centre & Anr.

By: Megha Ravindran, BBA LLB Nehru Academy of Law.

Brief of the case

The Petitioner’s father’s dead body was mistakenly released from Ernakulam Medical Centre Hospital to Kathy’s family in 2009.The body was cremated by the Kanthy’s family. The mistake was detected after the cremation so the Petitioner is not able to see his father for one last time.

The Petitioner moved the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and they ordered Rs.25 lakhs as compensation.

The hospital filed an appeal to NCDRC and they reduced the compensation to Rs.5 lakhs, Navin Sinha issued notice to the Respondent and stayed the order of NCDRC.

The NCDRC also directed the hospital to pay Rs. 25 lakhs as costs to the Consumer Legal Aid account of the State Commission.

The order has been challenged by the Petitioner on the ground that:

  • The order by the Commission was passed in July, 2019 but it took eight months to issue the full judgment.
  • The award of Rs. 5 lakhs as compensation is inequitable.
  • The fundamental rights were restricted that they cannot perform the last rites of their father.

Order of the court

The Supreme Court stayed the order of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

The Court also issued notice to the hospital and said that there shall be stay on operation of the challenged order.

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