Various instances of healthcare workers being attacked have been making news around the country. So, the cabinet has approved an ordinance against these violent cases.
The Union government has declared these offences as non-bailable with stringent punishments like jail term of up to seven years and a hefty fine.
Health workers who are trying to save the country from this epidemic are unfortunately facing attacks. No incident of violence or harrasamemnt, against them will be tolerated. An ordinance has been brought in, it'll be implemented after President's sanction: Union Min P Javadekar pic.twitter.com/LAvGN1NGnh— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2020
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said,
Health workers, who are trying to save the country from this epidemic, are unfortunately facing attacks. No incident of violence or harrasamemnt, against them will be tolerated. An ordinance has been brought in, it'll be implemented after President's sanction.
We welcome this step by the Centre. This will boost the morale of doctors &all healthcare staff. This act should be implemented for future also and not just during this pandemic: Dr. Sumedh Sandanshiv, at Delhi's RML hospital on ordinance to curb violence against health workers pic.twitter.com/PF4RtfWsug— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2020
In addition to the 'zero-tolerance' policy against such offences, Javadekar spoke in detail about the punishment,
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. 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.
In case of grievous injuries, the accused can be sentenced from 6 months to 7 years. They can be penalised from Rs 1 Lakhs to Rs 5 Lakhs: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar pic.twitter.com/VEXjQVz2x8— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2020
The proposed ordinance will amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 which will provide compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to property.