HRLN receives positive order in Safdarjung Hospital case where 'dead' infant was handed to family in envelope


The case of Shanti Devi v Safdarjung Hospital, which has been ongoing since late October 2017, continued in the High Court of Delhi with this positive order that HRLN recently received, where Justice Vibhu Bakhru reprimanded the respondents for their appalling healthcare standards which ultimately led to the death of an infant. The case made national news when it emerged that hospital staff handed over the supposedly dead infant to the family in an envelope. It was only when the family were about to perform last rites that they noticed the envelope moving – the infant was alive. He was later readmitted to hospital but subsequently died. Notable quotes include: 'Clearly, the respondents cannot have two standards for medical treatment one for private hospital and the other for government hospital'. 'At that stage, this Court had refrained from making any adverse observation in this regard considering that the directions were issued for constitution of a Committee to examine the matter.It is seen that the report submitted by the Committee does not consider the manner in which the fetus was handed over by the concerned authority…It is not possible for this Court, after having viewed the photographs, to ignore the same. Respondent no.1 shall file an affidavit indicating as to the person responsible for handing over the fetus in the manner it was done and further indicating whether any steps are proposed to be taken in this regard.'