HC pulls up health secretary, RIMS administration for lapses in treatment of gang rape victim
The Jharkhand high court on Saturday pulled up the health secretary and Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) administration for their alleged lackadaisical approach in the treatment of a 25-year old gang-rape survivor, taking serious note of a letter written by the victim’s husband.
The bench of justice Sujit Narayan Prasad questioned why the victim was discharged from the hospital when she had not fully recovered.
The bench found that the Latehar-based victim was referred to RIMS in January and she remained under treatment till March 27. The discharge slip, however, didn’t declare her fit. When she returned to Latehar, her condition again start deteriorating. She was then admitted to local Sadar hospital, which referred her to RIMS on May 8. She is currently in coma in RIMS.
Taking serious note of this, the bench observed, “Mismanagement is apparent everywhere in the hospital. Doctors discharge two-hour of duty and majority of them are busy in private practice. It appears that treatment of patients was not a priority. Patients lying on floor and their relatives holding saline bottles are the usual scene in the hospital. Once a pride of the state, the hospital has been losing its credibility day by day.”
Instituting a probe into why the rape victim was discharged without cure, the bench said, “The hospital gets an annual grant of Rs 100 crore but no marked improvement is noticeable in its condition. This is why a number of private hospitals came up in the city.”
“The autonomous status of the institution doesn’t mean that the government has no control on it. It can’t shut its eyes. It is the responsibility of the welfare state to provide adequate treatment to the citizens but the government, it seems, is not serious towards the issue,” the bench observed, asking the RIMS director to take action against the doctors who are indulged in private practice.
The bench also sought the probe report by June 10, the next date of hearing.
Earlier in the day, the bench came across a petition filed by the Jharkhand state legal authority (JHALSA) seeking judicial intervention on behalf of the victim’s husband, who forwarded a letter to the authority highlighting his plight. It then summoned the state health secretary, RIMS director and the doctor treating the victim at 12.15 pm.
They informed the court that no lapses would be committed in patient’s treatment. “All steps are being taken to ensure adequate treatment to her,” the officers said.
The gang rape survivor from a village in Latehar district is battling for life at RIMS. She has been reduced to mere 18 kgs because of the brain injuries she sustained when the accused tried to crush her. The survivor’s husband sought help from the court.
The gory crime was committed on January 23 and the grievously- injured victim was found in an agricultural field of her village. Her husband, working as a JCB driver with a construction company in Gujarat, was informed about the incident next day.