Kochi: The High Court of Kerala has asked the police department to register cases with immediate effect in complaints with regard to attacks on doctors and healthcare workers in the State.
A Division Bench, consisting of Justice Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagath, asked the Director-General of Police (DGP) to instruct the station house officer (SHO) in charge of each police station to follow this directive. The court also made the DGP a party in the case.
The High Court gave such a fiat while hearing a review petition seeking reconsideration of the order that had put restrictions on the private hospitals in connection with the charges on COVID-19 treatment.
The court wanted the government to run an effective campaign to make people aware of the 2012 law that prescribes strong action against those who attack doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. Boards should be put up in public places and a massive media campaign should be launched, the court said.
The Private Hospital Association and Indian Medical Association (IMA) had earlier brought to the attention of the court the general delay on the part of the police in taking action against culprits in attack cases.
They sought the opening of police aid near hospitals and taking strong action against those indulging in smear campaigns against healthcare workers through social media.
Meanwhile, the DGP, in his affidavit submitted before the court, said that a circular had been issued to the District Police Superintendents on August 31, asking them to take strong action against those involved in the attack on the health workers.
The police have been posted at main hospitals and vaccination centres on a permanent basis. It was also suggested by the police that CCTV facilities should be there in the ICU and OP sections of hospitals along with a control room for CCTV surveillance, the DGP said in the affidavit.