Free medical aid for rape and acid attack victims in the State

Pandurang Mhaske
Wednesday, 16 January 2019

According to the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, no doctor in any condition can refuse comprehensive medical health to the acid attack victims and victims of sexual assault. 

Mumbai: It is now mandatory for all hospitals, including private, to treat victims of sexual assault and acid attack free of cost. Even the doctors treating the victim have to collect all the evidence within 96 hours of the attack. If failed to do so, they will be prosecuted under Section 166 (B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or fine or both.

The State government has issued a notification that all hospitals will have to treat victims of acid attack free of cost.  The Supreme Court had issued a direction in April last year that the cost of medicines and even the plastic surgery for acid attack victims will have to be borne by hospitals.

It had also categorised that the hospitals refusing to treat victims free of cost will be subjected to stringent action. 

The order came on public interest litigation filed by Laxmi, an acid attack victim, following nine years of legal battle for the rights of victims.

According to the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, no doctor in any condition can refuse comprehensive medical health to the acid attack victims and victims of sexual assault. 

The doctors have to complete formalities of getting permission from the parents of the victim for a medical check-up in case victim is under the age of 12, understand all pre-history of the victim, medical checkup, collection of evidence for forensic investigation, inform the police and support the victim mentally and socially. 

In case of victims of both the incidents, the doctors have to collect the evidence for further police investigation within 96 hours of the attack.

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