Decided on May 04,2009

Gregorious Mission Hospital Appellant
JESSY Respondents


RAJYALAKSHMI RAO,MEMBER - (1.)THIS revision petition arises out of the order dated 22.7.2008 passed by Kerala State Commission in Appeal No. 143/2004 whereby the appeal filed by the petitioner -the Medical Superintendent, St. Gregorious Mission Hospital, was dismissed. The District Forum had allowed the complaint filed by Jessy & Anr. vide order dated 28.11.2003, in complaint No. 183/2001 and petitioner was directed to pay Rs.2,75,000 with interest @ 9% p.a. from the date of petition till date of the order and thereafter 6% p.a. till the payment is made along with costs of Rs.1,500. The State Commission while dismissing the respondents appeal for enhancement of compensation and the petitioners appeal by common order in Appeal No. 143/2004 slightly modified the order of the District Forum to the effect that first complainant shall be entitled to 50% of the amount and the second complainant (minor) shall be entitled for the remaining 50%. However, the amount due to the minor was directed to be deposited in a Fixed Deposit in a nationalized or scheduled bank and the interest accrued thereon can be withdrawn by the first complainant towards maintenance of the 2nd complainant. Aggrieved by the same, this revision petition has been filed by the petitioner.
(2.)BRIEF facts of the case are as under:
Mr. Varghese Mathai @ Saji was admitted in petitioners hospital on 3.5.2000 for alcoholic psychosis treatment and for de -addiction of drugs. Later on 8.5.2000, he was found to have committed suicide by hanging in the hospital ward. The deceaseds wife was not present at that time. The deceased was known to be having problems of smoking Ganja; change of behaviour for past 6 -7 months; not sleeping adequately and was showing unusual gestures specially in the past two weeks. The doctor had done detailed examination of the patient and diagnosed him as a patient -psychosis NOS (Not otherwise specified) and Ganja abuse.

(3.)SHRI Sanjeevu Mathew, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that respondent No. 1, Mrs. Jesse, the wife of the patient was instructed to be with the patient to observe closely for any changes in the behaviour of the patient and inform the duty staff promptly about the same, as the patient was allowed freedom of movement in the hospital in order to create a homely atmosphere. She failed to look after her husband and did not follow the instructions given by the petitioners, which resulted in this unfortunate mishap. Learned counsel referred to the documents, which have been admitted in the lower Fora. Special reliance has been placed on clause 9 of the Rules and Regulations of the hospital given to the patient, which were signed by the brother of the deceased, which clearly shows that ˜Only one person is allowed to be with the patient after 6 p.m. Further, the direction was given to the respondent No.1 in Ex. R1, which is a part of hospitals record in page 27 of Volume 2. Strong reliance has been placed on the instructions given to the respondent No.1 ˜to be with her husband and contended that she ignored the same and did not inform the duty nurse that she was not going to be with the patient.
Learned counsel further submitted that it is impossible to provide 24 hour service to look after the personal affairs and private needs of each patient. No family member was attending the patient when he left the ward to commit suicide. Nurses Daily Record, Ex. R1, is also placed on record, wherein it is noted on 8.5.2000 at 2.25 p.m., that he was found on hanging by lungi. Lowered the body by co -patients immediately and informed duty doctor . The learned counsel also relied on the deposition of the nurse (DW2) page 23 of Vol. 2, wherein she stated that The incident was at 2.15 p.m. Saji was admitted in general ward which is having two rooms. He went to the bathroom with a lungi for bathing. As he did not come back for sometime, I went and looked for him. I saw him that he hanged with the lungi. 

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.