AMRI Hospitals has sought a review of the Supreme Court order asking it to pay over Rs 11 crore in compensation to NRI doctor Kunal Saha and also applied for permission to pay the money in 12 equal monthly instalments, a spokesperson for the company said on Friday.
“We have submitted a review petition and prayer for extension of time for payment,” the spokesperson said.
The apex court verdict on October 24 gave AMRI eight weeks to pay the money.
“Unless this honourable court is pleased to extend the period granted to the appellant/applicant (AMRI) and allow it to pay the compensation in 12 monthly instalments, the appellant/applicant would suffer irreparable loss and injury,” the purported application seeking relief from the Supreme Court reads.
The company while pleading for the concessions has cited financial crunch following the December 2011 fire that killed 91 people. The application says the group has suffered “tremendous financial loss” after the fire.
T.V. George, counsel for Kunal Saha, said he had been served a copy of the AMRI application. He wasn’t sure whether the application had been filed with the Supreme Court registry.
Standing counsel for the state, Alip Sachtey and Mohit Paul, denied knowledge of the purported application.
The apex court had on October 24 ordered a compensation of Rs 6.08 crore to Saha for the death of his wife because of medical negligence in 1998. The compensation, which crosses Rs 11 crore if a simple interest of Rs 5.47 crore is also taken into account, is the largest in the medical history of the country.
Anuradha, an Ohio-based child psychologist who was vacationing in Calcutta with Kunal, died in 1998 after being wrongly diagnosed for an allergic reaction and administered an ill-suited steroid at AMRI, Dhakuria. The hospital also mentioned in its application that it already paid Rs 1.4 crore to Saha.
Saha told Metro that along with a copy of the application, he has also got a cheque for Rs 60 lakh from AMRI. The hospital had earlier paid him Rs 40.4 lakh. “If they don’t pay the entire amount by December 19, I’ll move a contempt petition against AMRI. I have asked my lawyer not to accept the cheque for Rs 60 lakh,” said Saha.
“After the unfortunate fire... all three units at Dhakuria have been debarred from medical operations.... This closure… has caused tremendous financial loss,” the application stated. In its application, AMRI claimed that it has “term loans” of Rs 224.61 crore against mortgage on all the fixed assets of the hospital as well as other collateral securities. “The applicant hospital is paying salary and wages to its employees with great difficulty. The applicant… is not in a position to ascertain the resources from where it would pay back the huge term loans.”
The Dhakuria hospital recently got a new licence under the Clinical Establishment Act to reopen its Main building and Annexe II. The other building, Annexe I, had caught fire.