Copy of enquiry conducted regarding death of her newly born female baby due to medical negligence in the ITBP Base Hospital - CIC: provide copy of ROE; matter falls under human rights violation as per proviso to section 24
Copy of ROE conducted in relation to death of her newly born female baby due to negligence of doctors in the ITBP Base Hospital - FAA provided detailed medical history of the case and has also apprised the appellant that two doctors of Base Hospital were suspended and departmental enquiries initiated against them - CIC: it is a matter concerning life and liberty and hence falls under the category of human rights violation as contained in proviso (1) of Section 24 of the RTI Act
Smt. Pulumoni Duwarah Paul, hereinafter called the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 14.3.2013 before the Commission against the respondent Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), New Delhi for not providing requested information in response to her RTI application dated 12.5.2012. The appellant was present whereas the respondent were represented by Dr. K.K. Mukherjee, Director (Medical) and Shri M.S. Neg, A.C (Office).
2. The appellant through her RTI application dated 12.5.2012 sought copy of preliminary inquiry report which was conducted on 28.5.2011 and 30.5.2011 by Dr. B.S. Pandey (IG/Director Medical), on 24.6.2011 and 7.12.2011 by IG/Special Frontier and ROE conducted on 23.12.2012 and 24.2.2012 by Dr. R.K. Verma, CMO (SG) in relation to death of her newly born female baby due to negligence of doctors in the ITBP Base Hospital. The CPIO vide letter No. I- 21017/01/2012/MS-703 dated 27.6.2012 denied information under Proviso (I) to Section 24 of the RTI Act.
3. Aggrieved with reply of the CPIO the appellant filed first appeal on 17.10.2012 before the FAA. The FAA vide his order No. I-21017/RTI/2012/MS- 1428 dated 30.11.2012 informed the appellant as follows:
“That Smt. Pulumoni Duwarah Paul, a primigravida, O negative mother, who had injection Rhogam in the 7th month of her pregnancy was under anti-natal care of gynecologist of ITB Police and admitted in Base Hospital on 14.5.2011 at around 2030 hrs in labor pain.
(2) She delivered a female baby on 15.5.2011 (intervening night of 14th and 15th May 2011) at Base Hospital at around 0200 hrs. It was a normal vaginal delivery. Pediatrician was also present during the delivery and attended the new born baby. Baby’s blood group was tested and found to be B+, therefore injection Rhogam was given again in the night on 15.5.2011. Baby was further examined in the evening by the pediatrician when all the clinical parameters were found to be within normal limits.
(4) Next date i.e. 16.5.2011 morning Pediatrician found the baby having icterus so blood sample for Serum bilurubin investigation was taken and sent to lab. Meanwhile based on clinical diagnosis only and without waiting for the report, phototherapy was started. Later in the evening of 16.5.2011, Pediatrician enquired from the lab and found the Serum Bilirubin to be 10.4 mg%, since the phototherapy had already been started in the morning along with frequent breast feeds, the same treatment was continued. Pediatrician further instructed the staff to send a blood sample of baby for Serum bilibubin on the next morning also i.e. on 17.5.2011. Inspite 17.5.2011 being a Gazetted Holiday, Pediatrician visited the baby in the morning at her own initiative. Being a Holiday, Baby’s father took the baby for Serum Bilibubin investigation at Batra Hospital. The report from Batra Hospital was collected at around 1530 hrs the same day and when the report was conveyed by the duty staff nurse to the duty doctor, the duty doctor without wasting any further time, telephonically advised to refer the baby to higher centre.
(5) Baby was taken to G.M. Modi Hospital in an ambulance, as it was the nearest CGHS approved Centre for all specialties including pediatrics. The doctor at G.M. Modi Hospital further referred the baby to Safdarjung Hospital, then the baby was taken to Safdarjung Hospital where the baby was finally admitted at around 1748 hrs on 17.5.2012. However in spite of the best possible treatment at Safdarjung Hospital, baby expired after about 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. hours of admission.
(6) Based on the complaints of the father of the baby, two doctors of Base Hospital were suspended and departmental enquiries initiated against them. In addition, two doctors, enquiry was also initiated against one staff Nurse on duty. Baby’s father was a witness in all these enquiries time and again and also deposed against two doctors and one staff nurse of BH.
(7) On 13.4.2012, baby’s mother had requested for a meeting with authority in ITBP for which she was given time, but it was later refused by herself vide her application dated 21.6.2012 stating that “I am not interested to meet any higher authority of ITBP related with my baby’s death case. Whatever enquiry was done with my husband, I believed that it is sufficient to justify this case and this enquiry is the final enquiry from my side”. Complete case was referred to AIIMS, New Delhi and expert opinion obtained on the advice of Ministry of Home Affairs.
(8) Baby’s father in his application had said that the documents of baby’s treatment were with him and when the same was asked by ITBP for further action on it, were not submitted. These documents have not been submitted till date by father of the baby. ROE completed against two doctors and one staff nurse of the organization and as per ITBP Act and Rules copy of ROE documents have been provided to the accused.
(9) Baby’s father complaint is purely directed on alleged deficiency of service and there is no prima facie of any element of violation of Human Rights or any allegation of Corruption in this case.
(10) Appellant’s application was sympathetically considered and found no merit for disclosure of such information from ITBP which is an organization listed at Sr. No. 11 of the Second Schedule and therefore outside the purview of the RTI Act.”
4. During the hearing the appellant insisted that she may be provided a copy of ROE in respect of death case of her newly born female baby in the ITBP Base Hospital due to negligence of Doctors.
5. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission is of the view that the FAA in his order dated 30.11.2012 has provided detailed medical history of the case and has also apprised the appellant that two doctors of Base Hospital were suspended and departmental enquiries initiated against them. In addition, enquiry was also initiated against one staff nurse on duty. However, there is a merit in the contention put forth by the appellant that she may be provided a copy of ROE in respect of departmental enquiries against the doctors and staff nurse, since this is a matter concerning life and liberty and hence falls under the category of human rights violation as contained in proviso (1) of Section 24 of the RTI Act. Hence the appellant is entitled to get copy of ROE as sought for through her RTI application. The Commission hereby directs the CPIO to provide an authenticated copy of ROE, which has been completed against two doctors and one staff nurse, to the appellant free of cost. The CPIO will comply with the directions of the Commission within two weeks of receipt of this order. The matter is disposed of on the part of the Commission with above directions.
Citation: Smt. Pulumoni Duwarah Paul v. Indo Tibetan Border Police Force in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2013/001025