New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the city government to issue a direction to all the hospitals in the capital not to deny treatment to victims of criminal offences, especially those of rape and road accidents.
"We direct the Principal Secretary, Health Department of Delhi Government, to issue directions to all the hospitals including private hospitals to attend to victims of gangrape, victims of other crimes particularly road accident victims.
"They be given first aid treatment or treatment depending upon their conditions," a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan said and fixed the matter for further hearing on February 28.
The court, which had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of the December 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus here, also asked the city hospitals not to refuse treatment to such victims "for the simple reason that it is a case related to some offence".
After being assured by the Delhi government that an order on the issue may be passed within the month, the bench also comprising Justice V K Jain said, "The Commissioner of Police will issue a direction (to police officials) immediately after an order is passed by the Delhi government to take such persons or victims to a nearby hospital for treatment."
Meanwhile, Delhi Police filed a fresh status report in a sealed cover giving details about the "role, duties and responsibilities" of policemen deployed in PCR vans.
The court, which had earlier passed a slew of guidelines to the police and other authorities, also heard the alleged delay in rushing the December 16 gang rape victim to a hospital which was far away from where she had been dumped by her assailants.
The paramedical student was raped and brutally assaulted before being thrown out of the moving vehicle along with her male friend. She later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
During the hearing, the court asked the police to consider installing a Global Positioning System (GPS) in all private transport vehicles so that their location could be traced in the event of such crimes.
Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Delhi Police, assured the court that this suggestion would also be looked into and informed that the entire PCR system has been reviewed and fresh guidelines have been issued to make it more effective.
On the last date of hearing, the court had said it would deal later on with the issue of medical treatment given to the victims and had asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take immediate steps to increase the number of PCR vans in the
Capital to ensure better safety of citizens, including women.
Earlier, Delhi Police had tendered an unconditional apology to the High Court following the rap it got on its knuckles over not naming all the officials patrolling the area in which the 23-year-old girl was gangraped and brutally assaulted last month.
After the apology, the court had accepted the fresh status report filed by the police.