The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020
A Bill further to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 was enacted to provide for better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases. The Act empowers the Central Government and the State Government to take measures and prescribe regulations whenever there is a threat or outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease. In order to curb violence, including physical and mental harassment and damage to property during COVID-19 pandemic, there was an urgent need to have a law in place that provides protection to healthcare service personnel. As the Parliament was not in session and an urgent legislation was required to be made in this regard, the President promulgated the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 on the 22nd day of April, 2020 under clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution. The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to replace the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (Ord. 5 of 2020) provides for –– conferment of concurrent powers upon the Central Government as that of the State Government to take any measures to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic or the spread.