The Centre asked state governments to register cases against those who indulge in assault on doctors and healthcare professionals amid the pandemic.
The centre further asked the states to invoke the stringent Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act.
Following several incidents of attack on doctors and healthcare professionals in different parts of the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote a letter to the Supreme Court.
Bhalla wrote in his letter, “You will agree that any incident of threat or assault on doctors or healthcare professionals may dampen their morale and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. This may adversely affect the healthcare response system.”
“Institutional FIRs should be registered against assaulters and such cases should be fast-tracked. You may also like to invoke provisions of the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020, where applicable,” said Bhalla.
As per reports, anyone involved in the assault on doctors and healthcare professionals are liable to be punished with imprisonment up to five years, and a fine up to Rs two lakh under this law.
This offence may be compounded by the victim with the permission of the court and will be cognisable and non-bailable, added Bhalla.
He further said, “I would also like to reiterate that a close watch be kept on any objectionable content in social media which may exacerbate such situations. Concerted efforts should be made through posters in hospitals, social media, etc. to emphasise the valuable contribution being made by doctors and other healthcare personnel in the fight against COVID-19.”