Adv. Madhu Bala

On  Wednesday 22 April 2020, the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend the EPIDEMIC DISEASE ACT, 1897, to provide for stricter punishment for attacks against the country's health workers. On the same day 22 April 2020 President Ramnath Kovind signed the ordinance and gave it its approval and it became law.
In this Ordinance add some new definations. They new defines are  'Act of Violence', 'Healthcare Service Personnel', 'Property' and has been placed under a new section - '1A' .Act of Violence: It is defined in relation to Healthcare Service Personnel working in times of epidemics. This would include acts of harassing healthcare personnel, harming,  injuring,  intimidation or causing life-threatening acts. In addition, the delivery of any type of obstruction (Clinical Establishment or otherwise elsewhere) during the discharge of duty of healthcare personnel will also come under the Act of Violence.
Property: Under this, a clinical establishment, a quarantine for patients during an epidemic, or a place marked for isolation, a mobile medical unit, any other property that a healthcare worker can directly access during an epidemic. But to be taken, is included
According to the ordinance, a new section '2A' added to the Act prohibits violence against health care workers and property damage. Under section 3 (2), at least for a person carrying out an activity of violence against a healthcare worker or a person who is abetting that act, or who is harming property or property, There is a provision of 3 months sentence. However, this sentence can be extended up to 5 years imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 50,000 to Rs 200000 can be punished. It should be kept in mind that if the health care worker is charged with Grievous Hurt in the manner of Section 320 of the Indian Penal Code, then the punishment can be imprisonment from 6 months to 7 years and fine of Rs 100000 to 500000 rupees. Can be applied up to.
 According to the ordinance [section 3E (1)], in addition to the punishment, an offender must also pay compensation to the victim (as decided by the court). Further, in the case of property damage, the compensation will be double the market value of the damaged property [Section 3E (2)]. 
Some other important things Through this ordinance, the activity of violence is considered a cognizable and non-bailable offense [Section 3A (i)]. At the same time, the case will be investigated by an officer who is of the rank of Inspector or above [Section 3A (ii)]. According to the ordinance, the police investigation of offenses against healthcare personnel should be completed within 30 days (from being an FIR) [section 3A (iii)], and that the trial should be insisted on completion within one year and where It is not going to end within 1 year, the judge will have to write reasons in this regard [Section 3A (iv)].


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