Interests of minors can be secured under Guardians and Wards Act
I am a 34-year-old married woman planning to go abroad for a nursing job. Though I have a passport, I am yet to get the same for my eight-year-old girl child. My child’s father has had no contact with me or the child after her birth though we have not legally terminated the relationship. Will there be any official hurdles if I do not want to add any of my estranged husband’s details in the application form for my child’s passport? Is there any legal hurdle in taking my child out of the country without informing him? If any, what are the remedies other than approaching him for consent? Please help.
— Name withheld on request
Since you are having custody of your daughter, there is no difficulty in either applying for a passport in her name or taking her with you abroad. If any difficulty is created by your estranged husband, you can apply for appointing yourself as a guardian under the Guardians and Wards Act in the High Court. There is no legal hurdle in taking your daughter out of the country without his consent.
Experts' testimony required in medical malpractice cases
I met with an accident in February this year and suffered a fracture on my left leg for which the doctor at a private hospital in the city applied a plaster cast. However, the pain didn’t subside even after a few weeks and I consulted another hospital where the doctors stated that my fracture was a case of surgery and that plastering has complicated the condition. I then had to undergo a complex surgery, spending around Rs 4 lakh set aside for other pressing needs. Can I claim damages from the doctor/hospital for medical negligence? What about the time elapsed without wages and the agony caused? Will my case be overlooked for failing to file any police complaint against the doctor concerned? How should I go about this?
— Kumaresan, Mugalivakkam
In case of medical negligence, there is a remedy for obtaining compensation by applying before the state consumer forum. However, it will be difficult to prove medical negligence before the forum unless some experts testify in your favour. Even the second hospital which did a procedure and also told you about the malpractice of the previous hospital will not come forward to support your case in the court of law. Even if they come on your persuasion, they will only tell the consumer forum that the previous procedure was not a ruled out one and it may not be a case of gross medical negligence. It is better that you forget making claims against medical professionals and that too against corporate bodies.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are of Justice K Chandru, who is providing guidance and direction based on his rich experience and knowledge of the law. This is not a substitute for legal recourse which must be taken as a follow-up if so recommended in these columns