The central government today promulgated an ordinance with a moto of SAVE THE SAVIOURS that is intended to ensure that during any situation akin to the current pandemic of Covid-19, there is no tolerance to any form of violence against healthcare workers and damage to property. The ordinance make attack on doctors (or any other healthcare personnel) a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
Why ordinance is promulgated? In present pandemic of Covid-19 there have been instances where the members of health care services are targeted and attacked by miscreants, thereby obstructing them from doing their duties. Unfortunately they become the most vulnerable victims as they have been perceived by some as carriers of the deadly virus. This has led to cases of their stigmatization and ostracization and sometimes worse, acts of unwarranted violence and harassment. To tackle this problem already several states have enacted special laws to offer protection to doctors and other medical personnel in the past but it does not have such a wide ambit and able to resolve the problem, so finally today central government took this step and promulgate ordinance named as ” The Epidemic Disease (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020″.
Overview and Key provisions of ordinance: 1.The ordinance makes acts of violence as cognizable and non- bailable offences. 2.Violence includes harassment also apart from physical injury and damage to property. 3.Healthcare service personnel include public and clinical healthcare service providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers and community health workers; any other persons empowered under the Act to take measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease or spread thereof; and any persons declared as such by the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette.
4.Whoever commits or abets the commitment of violence against health care worker shall be punished with imprisonment ranging from 3 months to 5 Years, and penalty (fine) of Rs. 50,000/- to Rs 2,00,000/- .
5.In case of grievous and very serious attack, imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 7 Years, with penalty of Rs.1 Lakh to Rs.5 Lakh. 6.The investigation into the incidents has to be conducted by officer of the rank of inspector and that investigation be completed within 30 Days. 7.The court proceedings shall also be conducted in a time limit an have to be decided within a year unless extended by the court for reasons to be recorded in writing., also ordinance provides that the court shall presume that such person has committed such offence,, unless the contrary is proved.
8.Ordinance also provides that in case of failure to pay compensation , such amount shall be recovered as an arrear of land revenue under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890
“PIB: The health workforce are our frontline soldiers in battling the spread of Covid-19. They put their own lives at risk in order to ensure safety of others. They deserve our highest respect and encouragement at this moment rather than being harassed or being subjected to violence. It is hoped that this Ordinance will have the impact of infusing confidence in the community of healthcare service personnel so that they can continue to contribute to serving mankind through their noble professions in the extremely difficult circumstances being witnessed during the current Covid-19 outbreak”.
Read Ordinance: The_Epidemic_Diseases_Amendment_Ordinance_2020
SOURCE : PIB