In what comes to a surprise for many Indians who always Poke Indian Political and judicial systems for drawing an Inspiration from Colonial acts. It is in fact the most stringent act is now effectively cracking down the Chain of this highly contagious pandemic.
It was on February 4th, 1897 a law has been enacted by the then British authorities to stop the spread of bubonic Plague in Bombay. But the history reveals it that this law was largely misused by the British authorities in order to check the Independence Movement.
The Current Indian Government, who is the vocal critic of colonial laws developed thoughts to remove the ineffective colonial laws. It was heard from reliable sources that even Epidemic Diseases Act,1897 was in the list that was meant for removal.
POWERS : This Act is applicable to the whole of Indian states and Union Territories.
The act reads :
When at any time the (state government) is satisfied that (the state) or any part thereof is visited by, or threatened with, an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease, the(state government), if (it) thinks that ordinary provisions of the law for time being in force are insufficient for the purpose, may take, or require or empower any person to take, such measures and, by public notice, prescribe such temporary regulations to be observed by the public or by any person or class of persons as (it) shall deem necessary to prevent the outbreak of such disease or the spread thereof, and may determine in what manner and by whom any expenses incurred(including compensation if any) shall be defrayed
The imposition of penalty and also punishing the persons under 188 section of Indian Penal code if found violating the rules observed by the government are made to ensure that the epidemic is controlled.
Many state governments in order to rescue their people are dusting of this act and applying the act for the safety of citizens.
This includes Lockdown, Social distancing, Minimising the Mobility, Cancellation of Public transport, closure of Ports, calling off the production of Non-essential things. Telangana, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Haryana are highlighting the 1897 Act in almost every Government Order released these days.
But to state that this law is enough to contain any pandemic is not wise. It is not an Inclusive document with the sophisticated notions of Public Health care. Hence the Government of India is also effectively making use of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.
NDMA 2005 :
- This act clearly defines many words like “affected areas”, Capacity building and Mitigation.
The Prime Minister will chair the National Disaster Management Authority assisted by one Vice-Chairperson and nine others on board.
- In state-level Chief Minister will head the State Disaster Management Authority with not more than eight members and one Vice-chairperson. The District Magistrate or Collector will head spear the District Disaster Management Authority with the help of Local elected representatives and ex officio co-chairperson.
- The law empowers NDMA to lay down the policy, plan and guidelines for Disaster Management. This will ensure a timely and effective response to the disaster.
- This act has been more influential to meet the disaster. The preparedness of the government has to be high to tackle the complex disaster as India is fighting with Invisible enemy.
Not only these acts are enough to combat the enemy but the Immense cooperation from Public is the need of the hour which can make things upside down and save the Nation from this dreadful disaster.