- Punishment for people who attack health workers
- Apart from a non-bailable warrant, the attacker will be penalised btween Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh
- Also a jail term of up to 7 years can also be awarded.
- Public Servants are already protected by IPC 189 and other sections
Now attacks on the Healthcare workers across the nation will carry strick punishments which include hefty fines along with jail term of up to 7 years, the government said today. The instances of healthcare staff being attacked have been on a rise throughout the country and a recent threat from doctors of going on strike has led the government to take the step.
In an executive order passed on an urgent basis today afternoon, just hours after the Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared the safety of medical personnel in India as “non-negotiable”, the Government of India also made the offence a non-bailable crime.
The government has also made the Epidemic Act a concurrent act so it becomes easier to take the big decisions and act upon them during a time of an epidemic to control rail, road, air, and marine traffic.
Prakash Javadekar, Union minister said, “While people across the nation salute the health workers and those in the field helping battle COVID-19, there are few who are attacking them, thinking they are spreading the virus,” today afternoon after the cabinet meeting.
He added, “We have zero tolerance and will not allow this in a civilised society,”.
The Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change added that “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,”.
He added, “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,”.
The amendment in the 120 year old Epidemic Act will give safety to the Doctors, Nurses, Attendants and other Health Workers including Aasha workers said the Union minister and added, “Healthcare professionals will also be extended insurance cover,”.
The Medical Personnel all across India have been putting their lives at risk and working on the frontline day and night to battle against the deadly Coronavirus pandemic which the government has highlighted endlessly. However, praises from the government did not help in stopping the attack on doctors, nurses and other medical staff who were planning the protest on 23rd April, i.e. tomorrow.
The protest was then called off when Union minister Amit Shah reached out to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which is the nodal body of doctors in India, and assured them that the Indian Government is doing and will do everything it can to protect them.
After the meeting, Amit Shah tweeted, “Safety and dignity of our doctors at their work place is non-negotiable. It is our collective responsibility to ensure conducive atmosphere for them at all times. I have assured doctors that Modi govt is committed to their cause and appealed to reconsider their proposed protest.”
Safety and dignity of our doctors at their work place is non-negotiable. It is our collective responsibility to ensure conducive atmosphere for them at all times.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 22, 2020
I have assured doctors that Modi govt is committed to their cause and appealed to reconsider their proposed protest. pic.twitter.com/AJcxghGRkx
Soon after the Ordinance was passed, he tweeted, “PM Narendra Modi’s govt is committed to protecting those who are protecting India during these challenging times. Bringing an ordinance to end violence against our doctors & health workers is a testimony of the same. This will go a long way in assuring their safety and dignity.”
PM @narendramodi’s govt is committed to protecting those who are protecting India during these challenging times.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 22, 2020
Bringing an ordinance to end violence against our doctors & health workers is a testimony of the same. This will go a long way in assuring their safety and dignity.
The Public Servants who are fighting on the front line already have Section 189 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which says, “Threat of injury to public servant.—Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any public servant, or to any person in whom he believes that public servant to be interested, for the purpose of inducing that public servant to do any act, or to forbear or delay to do any act, connected with the exercise of the public functions of such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.” Additionally, there are other IPC sections which protect them including Section 5.