New Delhi: To effectively tackle the attacks on doctors and hospitals, the Union Health Ministry has drafted a Bill to be introduced in the next winter session providing jail term up to 10 years and fine up to Rs 10 lakh on those convicted. Besides, they will have to pay compensation for the properties damaged.
To check violence against medical practitioners, the offences under the draft Bill will be cognizable and non-bailable. Any grievous hurt caused to healthcare service personnel and other para-medical staff will be punished with "imprisonment for a term of not less than three years, but which may extend to 10 years.’’ The fine shall not be less than Rs 2 lakh, but may extend to Rs 10 lakh.
In addition to the punishment provided for the offences, the convicted persons shall be liable to pay, by way of compensation, an amount, twice the fair market value of the damaged property or the loss caused, as may be determined by the court; also, he will cough up Rs 1 lakh for causing hurt to healthcare personnel and Rs 5 lakh for causing grievous hurt to the personnel, says the draft Bill.
Even if the violence does not lead to grievous injuries, the draft Bill envisages punishment with jail for not less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine of not less than Rs 50,000 but up to Rs 5 lakh on conviction. The draft law provides that all acts of violence against doctors shall be investigated by a police officer not below the rank of DSP.