The Delhi high court’s order on Thursday mandating even private hospitals to admit victims of crimes such as rape and road accidents came after lawyer Meera Bhatia said in her plea that the life of the recent gangrape victim could have been saved had police admitted her in a medical facility closer than Safdarjung Hospital.
Bhatia had sought directions from the court for the benefit of such victims for the future.
“The Delhi government’s health department shall issue a direction to all hospitals, including private ones, to attend to victims including of rape and road accidents and ensure that they are provided emergency treatment. Admission cannot be denied on reason that they are a medico-legal case,” a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain said.
The 23-year-old woman was raped and assaulted by six people on a bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Singapore where she was taken after he condition worsened.
“There needs to be a situation where police has no hindrance in taking the victim to the nearest hospital whether it is private or government,” the bench said.
Police counsel Dayan Krishnan admitted that their hands were tied in this regard as private hospitals do not admit such victims. The police have earmarked certain government hospitals in each district (crime) for admitting such victims.
During the arguments, Chief Justice Murugesan said one of the reasons why private doctors refuse treatment is because “they fear being grilled in a witness box when such a case comes in court and also the other complications involved”. He said this issue also needed to addressed.