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Government, civic hospitals better for acid attack victim’s surgery: HC

The Bombay High Court observed that government-run JJ Hospital and civic-run KEM Hospital would be better equipped and cost effective to perform plastic surgery on acid attack victim Aarti Thakur.

Aarti (25), who was attacked with acid at Goregaon Railway Station in January 2012, had approached the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to Maharashtra government to pay her compensation as prescribed in the state formulated Manodhairya scheme.

Under the scheme, the state government had decided to pay maximum Rs. three lakh to rape victims and victims in cases of violence against women.

The state government had earlier informed the high court that it cannot pay more than Rs three lakh to the victim. Aarti had sought Rs four lakh to cover her medical expenses.

A division bench of justices V M Kanade and A R Joshi had termed the government’s decision to pay only Rs. three lakh as arbitrary and contrary to an order of the Supreme Court which had said compensation of at least Rs. three lakh should be given.

The court had earlier directed the government to bear the expenditure of Aarti’s plastic surgery which was scheduled in a private hospital last week. The surgery could not be performed as the surgeon was not available. Following this, her lawyer Gayatri Singh told the court that Aarti had approached doctors at JJ and KEM hospitals.

“Government and civic-run hospitals are better, well-equipped and even cost effective. The doctors and staff are also good,” Justice Kanade said.

The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on March 7.

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