Ordinance Summary

The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020

  • The Governor of Odisha promulgated the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 on April 7, 2020. The Ordinance amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The Act provides for the prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases. The Ordinance amends the Act to expand the powers of the state government to prescribe regulations for control of the epidemic, and increase the penalties for contravention of the Act. Key features of the Ordinance include:

  • Power to take measures: The Act specifies that the state government can take measures such as inspection of persons travelling by railways or otherwise and segregation of persons suspected of being infected by the epidemic disease. The Ordinance expands the power of state government to take measures for procurement of goods, services and equipment necessary for prevention and control of the epidemic.

  • Penalty: The Act specifies that individuals disobeying the regulations issued under the Act will be punishable with: (i) imprisonment up to one month or a fine of up to two hundred rupees, or both, for individuals causing obstruction or injury to others, and (ii) imprisonment up to six months or a fine of up to one thousand rupees, or both, for individuals causing danger to human life, health or safety. The Ordinance increases the penalty to state that anyone who disobeys or contravenes any orders or regulations issued under the Act will be punishable with: (i) imprisonment of up to two years, or (iii) a fine of up to Rs 10,000, or (iii) both. The offences will be cognisable and bailable. Further, the offence may be compounded on payment of an amount as specified by the state government (not exceeding the maximum amount of fine for that offence).

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