The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Doctor fined for ‘defacing’ boy

New Delhi (pti): Convicting a doctor and the hospital which employed him for causing permanent damage to the face of an 11-year-old boy in an operation, a city consumer court has ordered them to pay Rs 1.8 lakh as compensation.

“The poor child shall have to live with permanent facial paresis (paralysis of the right side of his face) for the rest of his life. This would affect him mentally, physically, psychologically, socially as well as his future employment,” the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum II said in its order.

Pointing out that the hospital had taken a share of the fees received from Mahesh Kumar’s father for the operation, the forum held that south Delhi-based Orthonova Institute of Advanced Orthopedic Surgery and Research was equally liable for the negligence committed by the doctor, a.k. mittal.

Since Kumar is a minor, the amount shall be kept in a fixed deposit in a nationalised bank, forum president g.d. dhanuka and members Nargis Rajkumar and b.n. bansal said.

However, Kumar’s father can withdraw the annual interest from the amount for the boy’s upkeep, the consumer forum said. It also directed both the opposite parties to pay Rs 5,000 towards litigation costs.

Kumar’s father Raj said his son was operated on by Mittal for an ear infection on July 26, 1997 and Rs 26,000 was paid for it. But during surgery the boy’s facial nerve was cut by the doctor, resulting in paralysis of the right side of his face.

Child witness nails freed convict

New Delhi (PTI): A man, charged with the murder of a lady and a three-year-old girl, was acquitted by Himachal Pradesh High Court but the Supreme Court found the evidence of a child witness credible and upheld the conviction order of the trial court.

However, keeping in mind that the accused, Prem Chand, had committed the twin murders nearly 11 years ago, a bench of Justices s. rajendra Babu and p.v. reddi commuted the death sentence awarded by the trial court to life sentence while asking the police to arrest him and put him in prison.

The sessions judge found Chand guilty of brutally murdering Dhobi Devi and the child Madhu Devi. Earlier, the trial court had awarded death penalty on the grounds that the terrible deed had been committed by the culprit only to steal their belongings.

The high court had found several loopholes in the prosecution story and acquitted the accused, dismissing the account of a child witness who was also attacked.

On an appeal filed by the state and after hearing counsel Anil Soni and amicus curiae p.v. dinesh, the apex court upheld the conviction and said though the eyewitness was a child, he had been clear and cogent in giving his evidence.

Police officer shoots self

Azamgarh (pti): Additional superintendent of police of Azamgarh (rural) Nitanjan Lal committed suicide on Saturday by shooting himself with his service revolver at his residence, police said.

Lal shot himself in his bedroom after his three children had left for school and his wife was in the kitchen, they said. On hearing the shot, she rushed to the room and found him lying in a pool of blood. He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries, sources said. According to the police, Lal took the drastic step due to family problems. One of his daughters had committed suicide last year.

Inspector attacked

New Delhi (PTI): Suspected criminals fired at a police inspector on Lawrence Road in north-west Delhi on Saturday afternoon triggering panic in the area, police said. The inspector, however, escaped unhurt, sources said, adding that the assailants escaped. Senior police officials have rushed to the spot.

Mishap claims one

Jaipur (PTI): One person was killed and nine injured when a jeep overturned after hitting a divider in Chomu, 30 km from here, police said.

NRI family killed

Hyderabad (PTI): Five members of a US-based NRI family died in the Secunderabad-Manmad Express mishap on Friday, family sources said. They were heading for a pilgrimage to Shirdi when disaster struck, claiming the lives of l.v. rao, a senior executive in the ntpc, his wife l. padma, their daughter Ramana, son-in-law Pavani Latha and granddaughter.

Road rage

Patna (pti): Angry locals set fire to a jeep after it hit a pedestrian near a hotel on Bailey Road, police said. Occupants of the jeep escaped unhurt, they added. Police, however, denied that the incident was part of the current protest against the killing of three students in an alleged police encounter.

Girls drown

Madurai (PTI): Two girls, aged seven and nine, were found drowned in a lake at Siruvalai near Samayanallur in Madurai on Friday. Police said they had gone to the lake for a bath and did not return.

Halla Bol, the 10th annual street festival in memory of the pioneer of street plays Safdar Hashmi, will be held at the Sutar Pakhadi ground in Andheri, Mumbai, on Sunday. Several Hindi and Marathi street plays will compete at the festival.

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