The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment Act), 2020 has received the assent of the President and came into force

POLITICAL NEWS OCT 03,2020

The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance was promulgated on April 22, 2020. The Ordinance amends this Act. The Act provides for the prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases. The Ordinance amends the Act include protections healthcare personnel combat ting epidemic diseases and expands the powers of the central government to prevent the spread of such diseases.

 It was passed by voice vote of the Rajya Sabha on September 19, 2020 and by the Lok Sabha on September 21, 2020. The EPD Amendment Act, 2020 has received the assent of the president of India on the 28th September, 2020 and has come into force on 22nd April, 2020.

In this Act, act of violence committed against a healthcare service personnel includes, harassment impacting living or working conditions to harm, injury, or danger to life of them, obstruction in discharge of duties and make loss or damage to the property or documents of the healthcare service personnel.

While Introducing the Bill, Health Minister Dr. Harsh vardhan said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare service personnel were often stigmatized. There were also instances of attacks on their person, property and the healthcare facility. 

Salient Features of this Amendment Act

  • The Act prohibits commission/abetment of an act of violence against healthcare service personnel. It also prohibits an act/abetment for causing damage or loss to any property during an epidemic.
  • If the convicted person fails to pay the compensation, the amount will be recovered as an arrear of land revenue under the Recovery Act, 1890.
  • The investigation must be completed within 30 days from the date of registration of the FIR.
  • In case for causing grievous harm to healthcare service personnel, the burden of proof shall lie on the accused.
  • Power of the Central Government

By Umabharathi. M

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