PUDUCHERRY: The UT government has issued orders to hospitals, both private and government-run, to provide immediate medical treatment free of cost to victims of rapes and acid attacks. The hospitals have also been instructed to inform the police of any such cases.
The order, issued recently by the Lieutenant Governor in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court and the Centre, covers victims of offences falling under sections 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D and 376E of the Indian Penal Code.
While Section 376 deals with cases of rape, Section 326A deals with acid attacks. Section 376A lays down the punishment for acts causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of the victim, Section 376B pertains to sexual intercourse by husband with his wife during separation, Section 376C deals with sexual intercourse by a person in authority, Section 376D covers gang-rapes and Section 376E lays down punishment for repeat offenders.
The directions were issued by the Supreme Court to all states and Union Territories in two different orders — one in a gang-rape case in March this year and the other in an acid attack case in August 2012. The apex court had also directed the Union Home Secretary to discuss the enactment of appropriate provisions to regulate the sale of acid in states and Union Territories.
The acid attack and eventual death of 23-year-old Vinodhini, a B Tech graduate from Karaikal, shocked the region last year. According to official data, as many as 37 cases of rape and 51 cases of molestation have been registered in police stations across the UT in the last three years. Last year saw 17 cases of rape and eight cases of molestation being registered. Three rape cases have been registered so far this year. A total of eight cases have been registered this year under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Puducherry Police had set up a Rape Crisis Intervention Centre (RCIC) a month back.