The Delhi government’s health department and the Union Ministry of Health have directed its hospital authorities to make public photographs of unidentified victims of accidents who are brought dead to hospitals or die during treatment.
This comes after a recent order by a Delhi court over the trauma faced by family members of victims in such cases.
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Both directions were based on a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) court order from last month. Critically injured near the Shadipur Metro station in a road accident, Ajeet Singh was rushed to Acharya Bhikshu hospital on November 20, 2014, in a CATS ambulance. On December 5, the same year, the hospital transferred him to Safdarjung Hospital for advanced care for his head injuries.
He succumbed to injuries on December 13 at the hospital without any family member to tend to him throughout his month-long treatment in the two hospitals. Meanwhile, Singh’s family was visiting different police stations looking for him. Ravinder Pal, Singh’s brother, was also putting up pictures of him in his neighbourhood.
Authorities could establish contact with Pal only on December 13, 2014, hours before Singh’s post mortem. “ We came to know the accident happened in the vicinity of our residence in Baljit Nagar and in the jurisdiction of the same Ranjit Nagar police station,” Pal told the MACT court where his brother’s case was heard.
Probe revealed that as per hospital records, Singh had identified himself as Ranjeet instead of Ajeet, and had given his old address. An FIR was registered only after his death.
The court had directed the chief secretary of the Delhi government and the health secretaries of Delhi and the central governments, on February 20 “to ensure that hospitals take necessary steps for displaying the photographs of unidentified victims within 24 hours of accident”. “We are trying to create a portal for displaying pictures from various hospitals under us on the health department website,” said an official.
In his order, Additional district judge A K Mendiratta had noted that, “the same shall be of considerable aid to the victims as well as the traumatised family members and may help save some precious lives”.