Make Violence Non-Bailable Offence: Indian Medical Association

Indian Medical Association (IMA), which is representative body of doctors of modern scientific system of medicine, has made a fresh appeal to the union government for an early enactment of a law to curb attack on doctors with a provision of stringent action against attackers. The trigger was attack on three resident doctors of the civic-run Nair Hospital in central Mumbai on Sunday by the relatives of a patient.

IMA’s appeal comes at a time when the NDA government recently has formed an inter ministerial committee to frame a Central legislation covering the important features of the acts already enacted by 22 states to deal with attack on doctors and health establishments. Already, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has condemned the attack demanding a strict Central Protection Act for doctors.

IMA Maharashtra former secretary Dr Parthiv Sanghvi told DNA, “The Central act should make the violence against doctors and healthcare establishments a non bailable offence. Are we asking anything more? Isn’t security a basic right of a doctor?” He said IMA has been fighting for security of doctors and demanding their safety at all places including government and municipal hospitals.

Dr Sanghvi recalled that the Maharashtra had enacted Violence Against Medical Practitioners and Healthcare Establishment Prevention Act 2010. As on date there has been conviction in only one case while a record 100 cases are pending for action. He informed that similar laws were enacted by other states too but there has been little action against those indulging into attacks against doctors.

‘”Even though the Maharashtra Act ensures filing of FIR and police custody, it has the liberal element of getting Magisterial bail. Therefore, IMA has been repeatedly making a case for the Central act with a provision of non bailable offence,” Dr Sanghvi said. The Central law would not only prohibit violence but also allow for compensation to the hospital and penalty for “improper investigations.”

After the strike by doctors across the country was called off in June, the IMA had promised to keep up the pressure on the government and ensure that such a law was passed by the Parliament.

The Centre in the meanwhile has asked state governments to enforce the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code with vigour where such a law was not present and take strict action in case of assault against a doctor.

The Appeal

  • IMA’s appeal comes at a time when the NDA government recently has formed an inter ministerial committee to frame a Central legislation covering the important features of the acts already enacted by 22 states to deal with  attack on doctors and health establishments.
  • As on date there has been conviction in only one case while a record 100 cases are pending for action.

– DNA India

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