The Supreme Court has directed the Indian Army and the Air Force to pay Rs 1.54 crore as compensation to a security forces veteran who got infected with HIV through blood transfusion while on duty, Live Law reported on Wednesday.
The Air Force veteran got infected at a field hospital in 2001 during the military standoff between India and Pakistan in the wake of the attack on Parliament.
A bench of Justices Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta held medical negligence by the Air Force and the Army responsible for the former officer contracting the infection, according to PTI.
In his plea, the former officer had said that during the military standoff in 2002, he fell sick and was admitted to an Army hospital. A unit of blood had been transfused into his body during treatment and in 2014, he fell ill and was diagnosed with HIV.
He alleged that he was being denied treatment at Army hospitals. A medical board constituted by the court concluded that his illness was due to the transfusion of blood in 2002.
“The present case has demonstrated again and again how dignity, honour and compassion towards the appellant were completely lacking in the employer’s behaviour,” the court noted in its judgement, according to The Hindu.
The court also asked the armed forces to comply with the HIV Act that makes it obligatory for authorities to “take specified measures to ease and mitigate the hardships and barriers which HIV or AIDS affected persons would ordinarily face”.