KH.NOBIN SINGH,J. -
(1.) Heard Shri S. Jasobanta, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioner and Shri Th. Vashum, learned Government Advocate appearing for the respondents.
(2.) The validity and correctness of the letter dated 22-06-2019 issued by the Director of Health Services, Manipur is under challenge and in addition thereto, the petitioner has prayed for issuing a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ to direct the respondents to reimburse the medical expenses incurred by her for the treatment of her deceased husband including the travelling charges amounting to Rs.3,50,756/- (Rupees three lakh fifty thousand seven hundred and fifty six).
3.1 According to the petitioner, she is the wife of the deceased, Shri Late S. Rajen Singh, a Constable of Excise Department, Government of Manipur who died in harness while in service on 29-11-2018 at Apollo Hospital, Guwahati.
3.2 On 28-11-2015 at about 07:30 a.m., the petitioner's husband was knockdown by one Maruti Car 800, white in colour being Registration No. MN01K 4717, while her husband was returning home along the Tiddim Road in two wheeler Honda Activa with her minor daughter from the Tuition Centre, because of which her husband sustained serious injuries on his head and right side of the ear and her daughter also sustained several injuries on her body. Immediately, both her husband and her minor daughter were taken to the Shija Hospital, Langol and on the same day, a surgical operation was conducted on her husband who was later discharged on 25-12-2015 with the advice of doing regular check-up thereafter. On 30-01-2016, her husband was admitted again at Shija Hosptal, Langol for second head operation which was successfully done and accordingly, he was discharged on 02-02-2016 with the advice of doing regular check-up.
3.3 After her husband having been discharged from the Shija Hospital, he started attending his official duties for some time but as his health condition was getting deteriorated, on 14-11-2018, he was admitted at RIMS Hospital, Imphal where he was advised to undergo various investigations including MRI of Brain. As the report of the Radiologist was not reflecting the correct picture of the ailment, he was advised to have a second opinion which he did. But his health condition did not show any improvement and accordingly, he was discharged on 19-11-2018 with a Medical Certificate dated 19-11-2018 referring him to the RIMS Hospital Medical Board or the State Medical Board for treatment outside the State. Having no alternative and in view of the urgent medical attention, the petitioner's husband was taken to Guwahati on the same day at about 07:00 pm by hiring a private ambulance and on the next day at about 11:00 am, he was admitted at the Apollo Hospital, Guwahati where a team of Doctors consisting of Specialists in Neuro Medicine and Neuro Surgery started investigation. As per the instruction given by the Neuro Surgery group of doctors, he was admitted in the Neuro ICU as a special patient. During the course of investigation, her husband was directed to take MRI of Brain with contrast and whole spine screening with no loss of time and therefore, the MRI was taken on 22-11-2018, from the report of which, it was diagnosed that her husband was suffering from demyelination of brain with extensive T/2 FLAIR hyper intense lesions showing patchy post contrast enhancement. Although the Doctors started examining him carefully, her husband died on 29-11-2018 at about 06:20 pm for which the Hospital authority issued a Certificate dated 29-11-2018.
3.4 The authority of the Apollo Hospital prepared their bills from time to time and ultimately, it issued the Tax Invoice Final Bill on 29-11-2018 for the expenditure incurred for the treatment of her husband amounting to Rs. 2,63,895/- (Rupees two lakh sixty three thousand eight hundred and ninety five) after doing the adjustments. The petitioner, having no alternative, hired the ambulance of the said Hospital and brought the dead body of her husband on payment of Rs. 35,000/- (Rupees thirty five thousand) as hiring charge and thus, the petitioner incurred a total sum of Rs. 3,38,895/- (Rupees three lakh thirty eight thousand eight hundred and ninety five) towards the treatment of her husband including the expenditure incurred by her towards hiring of ambulances. After the information about the death of her husband being given to the Excise Department, a Death Certificate vide order dated 11-12-2018 was issued by the Commissioner of Excise, Manipur.
3.5 Since her husband was the only bread earner in the family, the petitioner spent the said amount by borrowing from her friends and relatives. After the completion of ritual and Shardha ceremony of her husband, the petitioner submitted her claims in the prescribed form to the Commissioner of Excise, Manipur for reimbursement of the said amount. The Commissioner of Excise, Manipur, in turn, requested the Chairman, State Medical Board, Imphal for grant of ex-post facto approval vide its letter written in the month of March, 2019 enclosing therewith all the relevant documents. After the said letter of the Commissioner of Excise, Manipur being received, the State Medical Board held its meeting on 28- 03-2019 and after examination of the relevant documents, the State Medical Board did not grant the ex-post facto approval on the ground that the Apollo Hospital was not included in the list of hospitals empanelled by the Government of Manipur vide its letter dated 22-06-2019 issued by the Director of Health Services, Manipur. Being aggrieved by the said letter, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner questioning its validity and correctness. ;