Left hanging for 15 years for delayed complaint, Gujarat woman gets Rs 1.20 lakh as compensation for defective lens implant

By: | Updated: June 28, 2018 12:32 PM

The woman, Jyotiben Popawala, filed the initial complaint in December 2003, was operated for cataract in February 2001. The implant of a defective intraocular lens led to the loss of vision in the left eye and was certified so by a doctor in 2002.

Gujarat woman left waiting for 15 years for delayed complaint

A consumer forum of Surat reportedly took eight years to inform Jyotiben Popawala, a plaintiff, that she was a year too late to file a complaint about vision-loss in her left eye – which was caused due to a defective lens implant in her eyes — during a cataract operation, reported the Times of India. The woman, Jyotiben Popawala, filed the initial complaint in December 2003, was operated for cataract in February 2001. The implant of a defective intraocular lens led to the loss of vision in the left eye and was certified so by a doctor in 2002.

It took eight years for the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum to reject the case in 2011, for being late by a year. Jyotiben had filed the complaint under the Consumer Protection Act in December 2003, which got rejected in 2011. When the Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission pointed out the delay back in 2011, the Forum took another seven years to rectify the order and deliver Rs 1.20 lakh as compensation to Jyotiben.

The compensation includes Rs 45000 for her surgery, Rs 25000 for legal expenditure and Rs 50,000 for mental agony, which the lens distributor will be paying. On June 15, 2018, the Commission also admitted that the forum had an option to let go of that delay in filing the case, but they did not.

The TOI reported that the commission observed while hearing the case, “If it is time-barred, then it may be condoned or not?” They also added, “The case was filed in district forum, and if a complaint is filed beyond the time limit, then the district forum becomes functus officio, that is, its mandate expires and they can no longer look into the merits of the case.”

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