Madras high court has directed the state government to reinstate a staff nurse who was terminated from service following a maternal death at a primary health centre (PHC) in Tirunelveli, saying she was made a scape goat without conducting a proper

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CITYMadras high court orders reinstatement of nurse made scapegoat
TNN | Updated: Feb 3, 2020, 10:38 IST






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Madras high court

MADURAI: Madras high court has directed the state government to reinstate a staff nurse who was terminated from service following a maternal death at a primary health centre (PHC) in Tirunelveli, saying she was made a scape goat without conducting a proper inquiry.REMOVE ADS


Petitioner T Blessie moved the HC Madurai bench in 2011 seeking to quash the termination order passed by the director of medical and rural health services dated July 23 that year and reinstate her. Her counsel stated that on April 24, 2009, a woman named Kannuthai delivered a baby girl at the Ukkirankottai PHC where the nurse was employed on contract. However, the woman developed a complication following which duty doctor Padma shifted her to the Tirunelveli medical college hospital where she died after two hours.

The petitioner was subsequently transferred to three PHCs within 27 months. On June 10, 2011, Tirunelveli deputy director of health services instructed her to sign a pre-written paper without allowing her to read it. The counsel submitted that on July 23 the termination order was passed on the charge that it was dereliction of duty on her part which resulted in the maternal death. When the nurse had discharged the duties on the instructions of the duty doctor, she alone had been punished, which was a discrimination. He stated that the order was passed without providing an opportunity to the petitioner to explain. The government advocate submitted that based on the representation given by the mother of the deceased woman, an inquiry was conducted and departmental proceedings initiated against Blessie, Padma and block medical officer Dr Sivagami Ebinezer.

The deputy director on completion of oral inquiry held the petitioner responsible for the death as she had not written the details on the case sheet, administered methergine injection before separation of placenta against protocol, did not administer an injection (syntocinon) and had not given proper treatment during the referral. On perusal of the submissions, Justice J Nisha Banu observed that the authorities concerned have straightaway passed the termination order without issuing charge-memo and without conducting any departmental inquiry in violation of Article 311(2) of the Constitution.
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At last justice delivered to this staff nurse after a prolonged fierced legal battle.Sheik Mohamed
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