Publicise orders on victims' right to treatment, HC tells Government

High Court

The Delhi High Court today asked city government and the police to ensure within a week proper "publicity" to their orders that all hospitals, including private ones, cannot deny treatment to victims of criminal offences, especially rape and road accidents.

In pursuance of the High Court order, Delhi Government and the city police had issued separate directions that the victims of criminal offences have to be taken to a nearby government or private hospitals which cannot turn them away.

"Pursuant to our earlier order, the Government of National Capital Territory Delhi (through Principal Secretary, health department) has issued directions on the issue on February 21.

"And, referring to the said order, the Commissioner of Police also issued directions to all police officials including ACPs to take to the victims to a nearby hospital irrespective of fact whether the hospital is government or private hospital," a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said.

Considering the directions of the government and police, the court asked them to "ensure publicity of their orders within a week" to create public awareness that victims have the right to be taken to a nearby hospital.

The publicity will also make hospitals aware that they are under an obligation to provide treatment to victims, it said. The court, which had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of the December 16 incident of gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus here, also asked the government to prepare within three weeks the "area-wise list" of Delhi hospitals.

The list be provided to cops manning PCR vans so that they know the place where victims have to be taken, it said, adding that it is up to the city and Union governments to devise "rules or mechanism" for reimbursing the expenses incurred on the treatment.

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