MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has made it compulsory for doctors and hospitals to administer first aid to victims of crimes against women and girls and said that any doctor or the hospital failing to follow directives in this regard would be liable for action under criminal act.
The state has issued fresh guidelines for the first aid to be provided to the victims of violence against women, acid attacks and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in line with the central government directives. But, several more clauses too have been added to it like seeking permission for treatment, understanding the back history, complete medical examination, collect samples for forensic investigation, putting the police administration on alert and administering psychological treatment as well as social support to the victims.
The doctors have been entrusted with the responsibility to fill in the information in a prescribed format and the Government Resolution says that cases would be filed against any doctor or hospital failing to do so under article 166 (b) of Indian penal code (Punishment for non-treatment of victim). An offender under this article can be punished for a year and fine or with both.
India has been beset with the problem of acid attacks on young women and sexual crimes and often they are turned away by unscrupulous hospitals.