Attacks on health workers to attract up to 7 years in prison  

#GS1 #Acts #Norms  

Union Cabinet approves promulgation of ordinance  

  • The Union Cabinet approved the promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, making acts of violence against medical staff a cognisable and non-bailable offence and to provide compensation for injury to healthcare personnel or for damage or loss to property.  
  • The ordinance proposes that in cases of attacks on healthcare workers, the investigation will be completed within 30 days and the final decision arrived at within one year.  
  • The punishment for such attacks will be three months to five years and the fine ₹50,000 to ₹2 lakh.  
  • In severe cases, where there are grievous injuries, the punishment will be six months to seven years and the fine ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh.  

‘Zero tolerance’  

  • There shall be zero tolerance to any incidents of violence against healthcare service personnel and/or damage to property.   
  • All offences of violence will be cognisable and non-bailable.  
  • This will facilitate punishment under the law in cases of violence against healthcare service personnel serving during an epidemic.   
  • Public venting of angst against healthcare service personnel leading to harassment assault and damage to property is being highlighted daily.   
  • Portrayal as potential spreaders of COVID-19 pandemic played havoc with the confidence of the medical community which is demanding protection.  
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