EPIDEMIC DISEASE ACT 1897
Author: Tarun Gupta, III year of B.B.A., LL.B. from BVDU New Law College Pune
Epidemic Disease act 1897 is applicable in the whole of India, whereas its provisions are also applicable in every state of India. The Epidemic disease act 1897 is used in weird problems and situations. When the State Government and the Central Government is resolved or convinced that the country and the state will be in a big crisis or if a disease administered to citizens by entering the country or state then in such situation both the centre and the state can apply the provision of this act. These regulations divided into 4 sections. Where in these 4 sections all the powers had given to the government.
4 Sections of Epidemic Disease Act 1897
Section 2 (A)
Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease act 1897 provides powers to the State and the Centre government. When the State government gets to know that under which state their government is ruling and the disease is spreading very frequently which leads to a big problem for the citizens or the persons who are living in that particular state which ensure that the spreading of this disease leads to the destruction of humans. In such a situation the first State government will resort to the provisions which are ordinary provisions through which it governs a State. The State government may also use this Act where the provision of health is not sufficient. With the help of this provision, the State government can expect an expectant person to get some solution through which the spreading of disease might be stopped. The state also empowers the public to make temporary regulations to prevent disease. Can make all such regulations that are effective in preventing disease.
According to the Section 2 Epidemic Disease act 1897 the State government can recover any expenditure that is involved in the prevention of disease. Who will pay the expense and how will they pay? It Will also be decided by the government. That is if the State government incurs more expenditure in the prevention of disease then it is also compensated.
Section 2 (A)
Section 2(A) Empowers the Central government that the Central government can inspect all passengers who are arriving at ports and airports. It can also prevent individuals by prescribing the procedure for the prevention of the disease as they like. But the Centre will use its power under these regulations only when the prevention of disease is not sufficient under the prevailing law.
Section 2 (2)
Under this act, the State government may develop such procedures as may be necessary for inspecting the passengers coming from such a journey and can appoint an inspector. Such illiterate people can be arrested and taken to a place such as a Hospitals or Temporary centre people who the inspector suspects that are suffering from infectious disease.
This section is mainly for punishment. According to Section 3 In violation of the prescribed response the provision of the Indian Penal Code 188 has been kept. By violating any rules which are made under this act under the India Penal Code section 188 case will be filed. Under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code disobedience of the order required by the public servant on time is the rule. Under this section, there are 6 months of imprisonment and a fine too. Under this section, both imprisonment and fine will be considered as punishment.
Impact of Amending And Different Provision Under This Act
As we all know that COVID19 or Coronavirus is today’s main problem which leads to a lot of death rates which is spread more than 190 countries like America, France, Italy, Germany, etc. have a large number of COVID109 patients. The number of infected and diseased persons are increasing day by day. That’s why every country and government is taking various measures to prevent the spread of this.
In India, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 22nd April 2020 has approved the promulgation of an ordinance to amend or to apply the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 which helps to protect the healthcare, living and the working area against violence during epidemics.
There is also a reason for amending the Act because as we all know that the people who are against the decision of the government will create violence against the healthcare institutions and also leads to the damage of the property whereas as the general public is showing their responsibility and their gratitude in a very organized and peaceful manner but also there are some people who create violence and disturbance in the society which leads to the different incidents. The Ministry of Health, the government of India has decided to implement sections 2 and 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 which is 123 years old.
Section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 says that the Commission or Instigation of violence against health workers shall be punished with imprisonment for three months to five years and with a fine of Rs.50,000 to Rs.2,00,000. and in case of causing grievous hurt to the health workers imprisonment shall be for a term 6 months to 7 years and with a fine of Rs.1,00,000 to Rs.5,00,000. The offender shall also be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value of the goods damaged including living/working premises or car etc.
By seeing today situation and the consequences among the whole society where all people are facing huge problem due to this COVID19 while implementing the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 there is relief in the increasement of the COVID19 patient our government had played a vital role in this by making some new amendment in this act like increase in fines and punishment which helps to control the people who are violating the rules and the restriction of the government.