The Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court has directed the Nagaland Health & Family Welfare Department to pay a sum of Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the son of a women, who died during childbirth, besides ordering that the petitioner and his family be paid Rs 20,000 under National Family Benefit Scheme.

According to a report of the Human Rights Law Network (HLRN), the Writ Petition was filed after a “fact finding survey” conducted by the HRLN, Nagaland Unit in 2016 on the death of one woman named as Bemang (30 years), who died during childbirth on November 7, 2016 and whose death was attributed to a “non functional Sub-Centre” in Monyakshu Village under Mon district.

“The event of the death was attributed to the poor implementation of the Government Maternal Health Scheme under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in the Sub-Centre of Monyakshu under Mon District, catering to a population of about 6500,” the report noted.

The petitioner Moba Changkai, who is the eldest son of the deceased, prayed for compensation against the state authorities “who failed in securing the fundamental right to life of good health, equality and dignity enshrined under Article 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India; further seeks for the proper implementation of the maternal health schemes, the Indian Public Health Standard guidelines, conducting of child death review, maternal death review, timely supply of drugs and others.”

The Health Sub-Centre in the village of the deceased, which is Type-B Sub-Centre was supposed to have all the basic facilities for conducting deliveries, it said.

However, since the sub-centre was “defunct and closed,” the family of the deceased was left with no choice but to take her to the district hospital, about 130 KMs from their village Monyakshu. The mother succumbed to obstructed labour case on the way, HLRN report said.

The petition also sought direction and implementation of Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) at the Sub-Centre, conducting of maternal death review, carrying out child death review at Monyakshu village, availability of referral services, granting of maternal benefit scheme under National Health Mission, Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), ensuring maternal care to women, granting a lump sum amount of Rs 20,000 under the National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) on account of the death of the primary bread winner of a family by the state Social Welfare Department.

The case of the petitioner was submitted by counsel Kezhosano Kikhi that stated that his mother Bemang, who was pregnant with the seventh child, had labour pain around 2 AM on July 11, 2016 and during the course of the labour, one arm of the baby emerged from the birth canal.

But as the baby could not fully come out, they had looked for a vehicle for hire and after having found one, started straight for the district hospital at Mon, about 130 KM from their Monyakshu village. While they were still on the way, his mother had died, the report said.

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