Mumbai MRI death: Rajesh Maru's family send legal notice to BMC, Nair hospital seeking Rs 86 lakh
A month after Rajesh Maru died in freak MRI incident, the family, which has not received a single rupee in compensation, sends missive to civic body
Rajesh Maru died on January 27 after being sucked into the MRI machine at Nair hospital. File Pic
More than a month since Rajesh Maru tragically died after being sucked into the MRI machine at Nair hospital, his family has not received a single rupee of the Rs 5 lakh compensation they were promised by the authorities. While the Chief Minister's Office has assured the amount will be given soon, the family has sent a legal notice to the hospital and BMC, asking for R86 lakh in compensation and a job to Rajesh's next of kin.
Rajesh died on January 27, when he had gone to Nair hospital to visit an ailing relative. A ward boy allegedly told him to carry an oxygen cylinder inside the MRI room. When Rajesh entered that room carrying the cylinder, he was sucked into the machine with tremendous force and died soon after On January 28, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised the family Rs 5 lakh in compensation. But that is yet to arrive. Rajesh's elder brother Yogesh said, "Rajesh was the only earning member of my family. We are still in a state of shock and disbelief. Little to no communication about any compensation is compounding my family's grief and agony." However, when mid-day reached out to the CM's office, a spokesperson said, "The amount has already been approved and transferred to the Collector, Mumbai city. The Collector will give away R5 lakh after completing formalities."
Yogesh said a staffer from the Mumbai Collector Sampada Mehta's office had recently come in and asked for some documents. "We asked him to give us in writing some receipt or acknowledgement for the documents given, [but] we did not get anything." Mehta confirmed that a visit has taken place to the residence, "to collect certain documentation."
Rajesh Maru's parents Shyamji and (Top) Galal at their Lalbaug home. Pics/Ashish Raje
Family sends notice
While the family awaits compensation, they have sent a legal notice to the BMC and Nair hospital. Speaking about the same, Susie Shah, in charge of a non-profit called Stree Shakti Centre said, "We have sent a legal notice to the BMC and the Nair hospital through lawyers Hariani and Co." This notice is dated February 26, 2018, and addressed to Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of Nair hospital, Dr Avinash Supe, director Medical Education and Major Hospitals and Ajoy Mehta, BMC chief . CM Fadnavis and the inspector in-charge of Agripada police station have also been marked in the notice.
A roof above their heads… Rajesh Maru dreamt of buying a home in Mumbai, said his parents Galal and Shyamji Maru. Pics/Ashish Raje
Excerpts from the notice say, "Rajesh Maru was... working at the Multi Brand Outlet at Parel, earning approximately Rs 1,200 per day. The said deceased was the only earning member of the family. The family resides in approximately 40 square feet area under a staircase." It also alleges that Bharmal, Supe and Mehta were responsible for: "failure to ensure that trained staff was made to conduct/assist in a procedure such as an MRI; negligence of staff."
The notice then goes on to demand Rs 86,40,000 in compensation — within 15 days of receiving the letter — as it would have been Rajesh's approximate earnings for the next 20 years, without taking into account any increments. It ends with a request that "a secured job be offered to the next of kin of the said deceased."
They simply don't care
The job is crucial for Rajesh's family, that resides in the Harharwala building at Lalbaug, underneath the building's staircase. When mid-day visited the home, the space leading to it was streaked with gulal, but there has been no colour in the lives of Rajesh's family since his horrific death.
Rajesh's father Shyamji broke down several times during the conversation. His mother Galal and sister, Leena said, "This Holi without Rajesh has been so hard on us. We were caught up with prayers and rituals to mark a month of his passing away. It made the pain so much sharper." Shyamji said, "Rajesh was the [only] earning member of this family. He dreamt of buying a home, he had so many dreams…"
An angry Galal said, "I lost my son because of the [Nair] hospital's negligence. Yet the hospital authorities simply do not care. There has been no communication."
The Maru family is still hoping BMC does better. Galal said, "I have lost my young son; things should change so that no other family loses their member."
The family is grieving Rajesh's death, but adding to their problems are misleading WhatsApp messages saying they have received compensation. Jaysingh and Narain said, "We have had insensitive people coming and congratulating the family for getting a big amount. We do not know the source of these messages." Galal and Shyamji signed off in despair, "What congratulations? No amount of money can bring back our son, Rajesh."
Dr Avinash Supe, director, medical education and major hospitals, said, "A compensation amount had been announced by CM, I cannot comment on that... Anyway, BMC does not have any policy of compe-nsation and we are not planning to give any."
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, Nair Hospital said, "An inquiry is being conducted into the incident. The state government has anno-unced the compensation, so how can I comment on that? ." On being asked about the hospital's alleged negligence, he said, "How can you say it is negligence by the hospital since the inquiry is in progress? The issue is with BMC but BMC does not have a policy to pay compensation. I cannot comment further, except that I am aware of the legal notice and have sent it to the legal department."
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