DMPQ- Write down the salient features of the epidemic disease act.

Epidemic Disease Act, 1897:

  • This colonial Act was enacted by the British, for the first time in the then state of Bombay during the Bubonic Plague.
  • It is a state government Act. The Act strives to protect the common citizens in a particular area during the outbreak of an epidemic or a dangerous disease.
  • The colonial era Epidemic Diseases Act consists of four sections and aims to provide for better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases.
  • Section 1 of the Act describes the title and extent of the Act.
  • Section 2 empowers state governments and Union Territories to formulate regulations to contain the outbreak.
  • When the State government is satisfied that the state is threatened with an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease, and if it thinks that the ordinary provisions of the law are insufficient, for the purpose, then, the state may take or require or empower any person to take some measures and by public notice prescribe such temporary regulations to be observed by the public.
  • The state government may prescribe regulations for the inspection of persons travelling by railway or otherwise, segregation in hospitals, temporary accommodation or otherwise, of persons suspected by the inspecting officer, of being infected with any such disease.
  • Section 3 provides penalties for disobeying any regulation made under the Act.
    • IPC Section 188 states that in case a person does not honour or refuses to honour the public order issued by a public servant, the punishment in such a case is upto 1 month in jail or a fine upto Rs. 200 or both.
    • In case the general public suffers due to the refusal of the person to follow the public order, the punishment is upto 6 months of Jail and/or fine or Rs. 2000.
  • The Act provides for six months’ imprisonment or Rs. 1000 fine or both on person disobeying the Act.
  • Section 4deals with legal protection to implementing officers acting under the Act.
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