Odisha High Court orders compensation for eye surgery victims

Cuttack: In a remarkable judgment, the Odisha High Court on Tuesday ordered the state government to pay damages to all the persons who developed vision problems after cataract operations in an eye camp held in Dharmagarh of Kalahandi district in September 2010.
The eye camp was organised by an NGO in collaboration with district authorities.
Pronouncing its judgment that was kept reserved since September last year, the Division Bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice BN Mohapatra ordered that the state government shall pay a damage of Rs 2.5 lakh each to all those persons who had lost their vision completely after the operation.
Similarly, the persons who had lost partial vision shall also be compensated after reviewing the extent of damage by the health secretary, the High Court said.
At least 25 persons had developed vision problems after the cataract operation and out of them 16 persons had lost complete vision.
The victims were taken immediately to the MKCG Medical College Hospital in Berhampur where a group of ophthalmology experts confirmed that the victims had lost vision after the mass operations held in the free eye camp.
After a PIL was filed in the High Court by civil rights activist Prabeer Das, the court had ordered for an inquiry into the bizarre incident which was monitored by the district legal services authority.
A total of 1,210 persons were operated in the camp which was held between September 9 and 23 of 2010 by the NGO Grace Vision with active support from the local administration.

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