Taking suo motu note of the death of a 50-year-old vegetable vendor due to refusal by three government hospitals to provide him emergency medical care, the Delhi High Court on Thursday sought explanations from the Delhi Government and the Centre on the unfortunate incident.

A Police Control Room van had found the victim, Ram Bhor, lying by the roadside after being hit by a speeding vehicle near Azadpur Mandi on Monday night.

The police personnel on patrol duty had immediately rushed the victim to Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital, the nearest government hospital from the spot, but the doctors on duty there refused to provide treatment to him saying that no intensive care bed was available at that time.

The police patrol then took him to Sushruta Trauma Centre, another government hospital, but there also the patient was refused treatment on the flimsy ground that it did have the ultrasound facility, without sparing a though that the patient required urgent care and the requirement for doing an ultrasound on him would arise later.

Unfortunately, the patient passed away in an ambulance parked at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Hospital premises, the third government hospital, where Ram Bhor had been taken by the patrol party for treatment as the hospital authorities refused to treat him saying that his medico-legal papers were not in place, forgetting the important Supreme Court ruling that in an accident case the processing of medico-legal papers shall not come in the way of providing medical care to a the victim as that could be done later.

Issuing the notices, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan asked the respondents to explain why the doctors at one hospital after another refused treatment to him leading to his death due to criminal negligence.

They have to respond to the Court by January 12, the next date of hearing.

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