New Delhi: With the approval of President Ram Nath Kovind to the ordinance providing stricter punishments against healthcare workers under the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 came into force.
This Ordinance, brought by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, makes attack, act of violence and any kind of harassment against healthcare personnel fighting Covid-19 pandemic as cognizable and non-bailable offences, with imprisonment of three month to five years.
The amendment brought under this Ordinance to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 also provides for compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to property.
The amendments in the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 says “No person shall indulge in any act of violence against a healthcare service personnel or cause any damage or loss to any property during an epidemic”.
Committing, commissioning or abetment of such acts of violence will be punishable with an imprisonment for a term of six months to five years, and with minimum fine of Rs fifty thousands to five lakh, the Government release said on Wednesday.
“Whoever, while committing an act of violence against healthcare service personnel, causing grievous hurt as defined in section 320 of the Indian Penal Code to such person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six month, but which may extend to seven years with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees, but which may extend to five lakh rupees”, the Ordinance reads.
In addition, the offender will also be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value for damage of property, the ministry said.
The Union Cabinet in the afternoon approved promulgation of The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to protect healthcare service personnel and property, including their living/working premises against violence during epidemics.