Udayavni Special

Cabinet nod to ordinance to protect healthcare personnel from attacks

Upto 7 yrs jail for assault on health workers

Team Udayavani, Apr 22, 2020, 3:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of attacks on healthcare personnel fighting coronavirus, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance making acts of violence against them as cognizable and non-bailable offences, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said.

He said the proposed ordinance also provides for compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to property.

The proposed ordinance will amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

It will help protect healthcare service personnel and their living and working premises against violence.

“Any attack on doctors or health workers will be liable to a penalty of anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh in non-serious cases and Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for serious offences, where there are reports of serious injury,” the minister said.

“In addition to this, there will also be a jail term — a minimum of 6 months and up to 5 years for non-serious offences and up to 7 years for serious cases. This will be a non-bailable offence,” he added.

Asked whether the new changes in the law will be applicable even after the threat of COVID-19 is over, Javadekar told reporters that the ordinance has been approved to amend the Epidemic Act.

“But it is a good beginning,” he said, without elaborating.

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