New Delhi: The
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has
granted Rs.500,000 compensation to a Kerala scientist who wanted
to send his son's body parts for research to a US-based expert but
could not do so due to a courier company's failure to keep its
Amicus Curiae (commission appointed lawyer) Santosh Paul told IANS
that it was a unique case and he was happy that the consumer
commission noted that the effort that scientist Venkata Roa was
trying to do was for the benefit of society.
The apex consumer panel set aside Kerala State Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission while granting relief to Rao.
Roa, who hails from Thiruvananthapuram, said in his complaint to
the state consumer panel that his 17-year-old son, suffering from
neurological disorder, died May 10, 2000. His son was under
treatment of various medical institutions.
The medical problem of his son could not be diagnosed so Roa
decided to donate his deceased son's brain and lungs for carrying
out a comprehensive research for the benefit of humanity.
Roa was directed by US-based researcher Bruce H. Cohen to send the
body's part of his son through the international courier Federal
Express Corp (Fedex).
The appellant contacted Babu Jacob, executive sales, Bluedart
Express of Federal Express call centre at Trivandrum for it.
Initially, Federal Express accepted the consignment, containing
the body organs, but later refused to send it to the US saying
that dispatch of human organs was in contravention of the Fedex
After going through mental agony harassment, besides loss of the
precious organs, Roa filed a complaint seeking compensation of
Rs.9.75 lakh under different heads before the state commission,
which dismissed it Aug 26, 2004.
Roa then moved to the national commission.
"Having regard to the mental state in which the complainant would
have been at the relevant time just after the death of his son and
the noble cause of research for the humanity at large, the episode
must have been a life-time setback to the complainant," said NCDRC
presiding member Justice R.C. Jain, in an order delivered Jan 16.
Justice Jain added that no amount of money could compensate the
complainant for the kind of loss and injury suffered by him and
awarded him compensation of Rs.500,000.