Only an authorised hospital can perform sterilisation operations, the Kerala High Court has held while dismissing a plea by a Central government employee who got his wife to undergo sterilisation so that he could qualify for an increment.
Justice S Siri Jagan on June 14, 2012 heard a petition filed by N Gopalkrishnan (name changed) a peon in the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam. On February 27, 2005 his wife underwent a post-partum sterilisation at Sandhyaram Hospital in Palakkad district.
According to a government order, after two or three children if sterilisation is done, the employee is entitled to one increment. It stipulated that operation should be conducted in and certificated issued by Central or State government hospital or clinic. Where it is not possible, such certificate may be obtained from aided voluntary organisations/institutions conducting sterilisation.
An office memorandum clarified that sterilisation done in a private hospital may also be allowed incentives for promoting small family norms provided a certificate countersigned by a civil surgeon/district medical officer/authorised medical attendant/medical officers of government hospital satisfies himself that the employee or his spouse has actually underwent sterilisation on the date mentioned in the certificate.
But when Gopalkrishnan submitted his certificate before DMO for counter signature, he refused to sign on the ground that the hospital from which he obtained certificate is not recognized by the government for conducting sterilization operation. His appeal to the Director of Health Services , Thiruvananthapuram, was also rejected on October 3, 2009 holding the same view.
Gopalkrishnan moved HC to quash and set aside DHS rejection and to direct DMO to countersign the certificate. His advocate argued the DMO was wrong in refusing to countersign a certificate and that not withstanding whether the nursing home or hospital is recognized by the government or not, the DMO is bound to countersign the certificate is the contention of the petitioner. The sterilization operation cannot be conducted by every doctor and in every hospital for which appropriate authorisation is necessary,” said Justice Jagan.
He said the government order and office memorandum do not oblige the DMO to countersign any certificate by any private hospital or nursing home. When only authorized hospitals can conduct sterilization operation, I am of opinion that, the DMO can certainly insist that the certificate issued by the private hospital is one recognized by the government for the purpose of doing sterilization operation,” he said. Adding that he does not find anything wrong with the stand taken by the respondents, Justice Jagan dismissed the petition.
Source: Times of India