EPIDEMIC DISEASES ACT 1897 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     13th February 2024        

Context: The  22nd Law Commission of India has submitted its Report No. 286 titled “A Comprehensive Review of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897" to the Government of India.

Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

  • About: An Act to provide for the better prevention of the spread of Dangerous Epidemic Diseases.
  • Whereas it is expedient to provide for the better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic disease.
  • Coverage: It extends to the whole of India except 3[the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States.
  • Power to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease
  • Empowering State Government: When an outbreak of a dangerous epidemic disease threatens [the State], the "[State Government]" can take necessary measures.

oIf existing laws are deemed insufficient, the State Government may prescribe temporary regulations through public notices.

  • Specific Measures for Epidemic Control: The "[State Government]" holds the authority to take specific measures and prescribe regulations.

oThese measures include the inspection of individuals traveling by various means, such as railways.

oSuspected individuals may be segregated in hospitals or temporary accommodations based on inspections by authorized officers.

  • Prohibition of violence: No person shall indulge in any act of violence against a healthcare service personnel or cause any damage or loss to any property during an epidemic.
  • Penalty: Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).