Up to 7 Years Jail : Javadekar
New Delhi : On a media briefing today, Prakash Javadekar , minister of information & broadcasting, government of India, said the cabinet has promulgated an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Disease Act , 1897 to add stringent provisions to punish those attacking health workers who are fighting at the frontline against novel coronavirus pandemic .
Following complaints from the the medical fraternity , the Union cabinet today decided to make acts of violence against doctors and other medical staffs as a non bailable offence.
Prakash Javadekar said that it is unfortunate that the health workers who are trying to protect the country from the epidemic are facing attacks. “No incident of violence or harassment against them will be tolerated,” he said. “An ordinance has been brought in, it will be implemented after President’s sanction,”
Such crime will now be cognizable and non-bailable. Investigation will be done within 30 days. Accused can be sentenced from 3 months to five years and penalised from Rs 50,000 upto Rs 2 lakh,” he said, adding that in case of grievous injuries, the convicts could face jail term from 6 months to 7 years.
They can be penalised from Rs 1 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs,” the minister said.
He said that the investigation in such cases will be done within 30 days and the final judgement will be delivered within a year.
Javadekar said that ASHA workers who are working at par with other health workers will also be covered under the law.
Javadekar informed that if damage is done to the vehicles or clinics of healthcare workers, then a compensation amounting to twice the market value of the damaged property will be taken from the accused.
The ordinance would help protect healthcare service personnel and their living or working premises against violence.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called off its proposed ‘White alert’ and ‘Black day’ protests scheduled on April 22 and 23 following a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah through video conference on Wednesday.
The doctors’ body has been demanding that the Centre bring a law to protect healthcare workers from rising attacks at a time when they are battling COVID-19.
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Now the cabinet brings strict epidemic act to protect health warriors. The revised rules provide for a jail term ranging from six months to 7 years for those found guilty of attacking doctors and health workers. Significantly, the offence of attacking doctors and health workers will now be non-bailable.
(News Source : Financial Express & Livemint)