Newborn death case: Court ends nurses jail term

20 July, 2016

A Lunglei today released a nurse working under the state Health and Family Welfare department, dropping against her the charge of harbouring intent to cause the death of a newborn in 2014 and observed her one week incarceration since July 13 was sufficient punishment for her medical negligence. 

Chief Judicial Magistrate of Lunglei, H T C Lalrinchhana convicted Lalbiakdiki, a nurse working at Lunglei District Hospital, of causing death of the newborn due to negligence at the hospital in South but dropped the charge of intent to cause the death.

Lalrinchhana, while pronouncing the sentence, said that the court regarded the sufferings (both mental and physical) and a week in prison were sufficient punishment for the nurse's crime and released her under section 3 of the Probation of the Offenders' Act. 

The CJM had convicted Lalbiakdiki on July 13 for causing death to the newborn by her act of "gross negligence and recklessness" while treating the baby and her mother at the hospital and was of the view that her conduct was unbecoming of a medical professional. 

The CJM observed, "The main cause of death of baby of the complainant may be premature birth and the weight of the baby was only 1.2 kgs. If timely and proper care was given by the nurse, at least longer period may be enjoyed by the innocent deceased child." 

On whether Lalbiakdiki broke any other criminal laws, the CJM found the prosecution failed to prove the charge under section 166 of IPC, which puts a public servant in the dock for intending to cause injury. 

The nurse was arrested on July 13 and sent to judicial custody. She was admitted to hospital on the very next day after she lost consciousness inside the court premises.