Supreme Court Rejects Review Petition in Military Hospital HIV Transfusion Case

In CPL Ashish Kumar Chauhan Retd v. Col Sanjay Nijhawan, Supreme Court denies IAF's plea to review ₹1.6 crore compensation for HIV contraction during blood transfusion at a military hospital.

The Supreme Court recently said no to changing its earlier decision about the Indian Air Force (IAF) paying roughly ₹1.6 crores to a retired soldier. This soldier got the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during a blood transfusion at a military hospital [CPL Ashish Kumar Chauhan Retd v. Col Sanjay Nijhawan and ors].

A group of Justices, including Dipankar Datta and Prasanna B Varale, said the IAF and the Army didn't give enough reason for changing the decision. So, they dismissed their request to change it. The Court mentioned, "The judgment and order under review does not suffer from any error, much less apparent error, warranting its reconsideration. That apart, no other sufficient ground has been set up for granting the relief claimed in the Review Petition. The Review Petition is, accordingly, dismissed," in their order dated April 3.

Back in September 2023, the top court said the IAF had to pay that money for their mistake in medical care. They also pointed out that both the IAF and the Army were responsible for what happened to the soldier.

The IAF and the Army weren't happy with this decision, so they asked the Court to look at it again, but the Court said no.

In January this year, the Supreme Court asked the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force to respond to a case where the soldier, Ashish Chauhan, said they didn't give him the money the Court ordered.

This whole thing started after the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. During an operation in 2002, the soldier got sick and went to a military hospital in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba. There, he got blood, and later, he found out he had HIV. He asked for his hospital records from 2002 and got them in 2014. Then, in 2014 and 2015, they said his HIV was from the blood he got in the hospital.

After that, they didn't let him stay in the Army and didn't give him a certificate for his disability.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) said he couldn't get ₹95.31 crores in compensation, but the Supreme Court said he should get some money. They said:

  • ₹86.73 lakhs for not being able to work;
  • ₹50 lakhs for feeling bad;
  • ₹18 lakhs for future medical care;
  • ₹5 lakhs for legal costs.

Also, the IAF and the Army have to help with his future medical care and pay for his travel for checkups.

Advocate Vanshaja Shukla helped the Court as a friend of the court.