The incident occurred on July 20, 2008, which left 66 villagers without sight, and it was attributed to the administration of contaminated eye drops during the procedure.
The Human Rights Protection Centre (HRPC), which took the issue in 2009 and filed a writ petition against the Joseph Eye Hospital in Madras High Court, demanded the hospital administration to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the victims. As per the order of the then Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam, the case was transferred to Tiruchy and the court also ordered for a CBI inquiry. As per the order the anti-corruption branch of CBI took up the case in 2011 and registered an FIR on March 15, 2013.
Meanwhile, in 2015, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, which heard the case, convicted Dr Nelson Jesudasan, Director of Joseph Eye Hospital, Tiruchy, Dr P Ashok, Chief Medical Officer in Perambalur unit of Joseph Hospital and Christopher Thomas, Chief Administrative Officer, under Section 338 for culpable negligence and endangering the personal liberty of the patients and voluntarily hurting them.
The court also ordered payment of a compensation to all the victims ranging from Rs 2.28 lakh to Rs 5.17 lakh according to the victim’s age. Since the victims have been already distributed Rs one lakh by the hospital authorities, the remaining amount should be given to them with 7.5 per cent interest from the date of the operation. The compensation was fixed based on Workmen’s Compensation Act.
In the meantime, the accused contested the verdict with the Third Additional Sessions Court and the judge Logeshwaran, who heard the case on Friday, confirmed the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court verdict of imprisonment of one year and compensation of Rs 9.85 crore to the victims.