Jammu & Kashmir High Court asks MHA to respond on a bill for the safety of Healthcare Professionals

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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on 17 April 2020, asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to file their concerns and objections over a proposed law for the protection of medical professionals i.e. the Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019.

The Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajneesh Oswal observed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India had drafted the said Bill which could address these problems. Hearing a batch of pleas on Covid19 through video conference, the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal issued the notice after observing that given the situation it was necessary to have the stakeholders before the court.

The Court issued the direction while hearing concerns over the protection of health care personnel and the destruction of public health resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Amicus Curiae Monika Kohli told the Court that despite the available framework, healthcare personnel was being subjected to extreme violence in a spate of incidents all over the country.

Regarding the Valuable public property like ambulances and police vehicles involved in COVID-19 issues, Justice Kohli said, “was being stoned and damaged for which there is no compensation.” “These public resources are in extremely short supply” Justice Gita Mittal added.

The issue of safety, care, and health of and violence against these healthcare professionals needs to be addressed on priority in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh

she further said

After listening to the submissions, the court directed the “view” taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs on “Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019 (Draft Bill) sent to it by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the consideration” be placed before it.  “Before we examine the issue further, the view which was taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs needs to be placed before us,” the court said.

It was further noted that the Bill had already been sent for the consideration of the Ministry of Home Affairs. In continuation of the same, Assistant Solicitor General Vishal Sharma was directed to file the concerns and objections of the Ministry of Home Affairs on the said Bill.

The High Court has also issued notice to the Indian Medical Association, Doctors Association of Kashmir, and other stakeholders in the healthcare sector for their inputs on the proposed law. These stakeholders have been directed to send their views and comments via email to the Registrar.


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