New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has informed the Delhi high court that it has issued direction to all the hospitals run by it or by autonomous bodies to install CCTVs to ensure safety of its staff and patients, especially women.
A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and justice C. Hari Shankar was further informed that the Delhi government’s Director General Health Services has also asked the hospitals run by it that non functional CCTV cameras in their premises be repaired and the same be installed wherever required.
Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan further informed the court that a total of 2,613 CCTV cameras were installed in over 30 city government’s hospitals, of which 2,372 cameras were functional. The AAP government was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions for installation of CCTV cameras and deputing of security guards at all government hospitals under its jurisdiction.
The court had issued notices to the authorities concerned on the plea by a former staff nurse who alleged that she was stalked by a patient in the hospital where she worked and this would not have happened if CCTV cameras had been installed.
In her plea filed through advocate Rajesh Sharma, she has said that an FIR was registered against the accused in connection with the case. The PIL said that the authorities should be directed to take steps towards providing security to women staff working in government hospitals, dispensaries and other health institutions, organisations and mohalla clinics here.
Responding to the same, the Delhi government in its affidavit said, “A total of 2,207 security guards have been deployed in the hospitals run by them, these include female security guards as well as those who are posted in sensitive areas.”
“Separate counters exist for women at registration and pharmacies. Further separate wards exist for female patients at each of the hospitals. Sexual harassment committees have been constituted in each of the hospitals,” the affidavit said. It further said that adequate screens were made available in examination areas as required in each of their hospitals.
“Separate washrooms are available for women in all hospitals. Adequate lightening is ensured in all hospitals. Training sessions and soft skill sessions are held to sensitise staff,” it added. The Delhi government counsel further submitted that the Director General of Health Services had issued directions to all directors, medical superintendents and principals of hospitals under their control, including those run by autonomous bodies to ensure security of its staff and patients, particularly women.
It has further directed that CCTV cameras which are not functioning be repaired and further CCTV cameras be installed whenever required. The plea has said that it is the “responsibility of municipal body, police and the hospital to comply with the Vishaka guidelines for formation of committee to investigate cases of sexual harassment against women at workplace and provide safety and security to the petitioner.”
“The authorities concerned are responsible for installing CCTV cameras in all hospitals, but they failed to do so,” the plea said. The nurse also claimed in her plea that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in his poll manifesto had committed to work for security and safety of women in Delhi by way of installing CCTV cameras and private guards, but after becoming the CM he failed to act in this direction.