Supreme Court Orders 1.5 Crore Compensation to Airman Contracted HIV from Tainted Blood

The Supreme Court of India has upheld a significant compensation claim, mandating the Central Government and the armed forces to pay Rs 1.5 crore to a former Air Force corporal who contracted HIV from contaminated blood during a medical procedure. This ruling came after rejecting the government’s review petition which challenged an earlier decision blaming the military for medical negligence.

In 2002, during Operation Parakram against Pakistan, the airman, whose identity remains confidential as per court orders, received a tainted blood transfusion at a military hospital. It wasn’t until 2014 at a naval hospital in Mumbai that he was diagnosed with HIV, leading to severe personal and professional consequences. The initial Supreme Court ruling in September, led by Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta, found the Army and Air Force “disturbingly negligent” in their medical standards.

The plea for reconsideration was dismissed by Justices Dipankar Datta and PB Varale on April 3, citing no errors in the judgment that would warrant a review. The court noted that the airman had already faced considerable delays in receiving his compensation, which included disability pension and monthly medical allowances, since filing a contempt petition for non-payment.

The implications of the medical error were profound, leading to the breakdown of the airman’s marriage and a significant decline in his quality of life. He initially demanded Rs 95 crore in damages from the Air Force through the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which was dismissed in August 2021. His legal struggle continued until the Supreme Court’s decisive intervention.

Also Read

In light of the airman’s deteriorating health, indicated by a critical drop in his CD4 count—a key measure of immune system health—the Supreme Court’s recent directive requires the government to deposit the remaining compensation within two weeks. The court also scheduled a review of the compliance with its order on July 16, emphasizing the urgent need for remedial action to mitigate the adverse impacts on the airman’s health and life.

Law Trend
Law Trend
Legal News Website Providing Latest Judgments of Supreme Court and High Court

Related Articles

Latest Articles