Kerala Approves Ordinance Amending Hospital Protection Act

The State Cabinet of Kerala has recently approved an ordinance to amend the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2012. The amendment aims to enhance the protection of healthcare workers and hospitals, along with introducing stricter penalties for acts of violence. The ordinance now requires the governor’s approval, after which the law will be promulgated.

Key Provisions of the Ordinance:

  • The original Act had provisions for imprisonment extending up to three years and fines up to Rs. 50,000. The ordinance, however, makes these provisions more stringent.
  • Punishments: Offenders who attempt or persuade others to commit violence will face imprisonment ranging from six months to five years. Additionally, fines ranging from ₹50,000 to ₹2 lakhs will be imposed. Offenders, who commit serious physical violence, will face imprisonment for a minimum of one year, extendable up to seven years, along with a fine ranging from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakhs.
  • Investigations: To ensure efficient investigations, cases filed under the Act will be investigated by police officials ranked not less than an Inspector. The investigation process is set to be completed within 60 days of registering the First Information Report (FIR).
  • Fast-Paced Trail: To expedite the trial process, the amendment mandates the completion of trial procedures within a stipulated time frame of one year.
  • Special Courts: Additionally, the government, in consultation with the High Court, will designate special courts in every district to try cases related to the 2012 Act. This provision aims to facilitate the swift and effective resolution of cases involving violence against healthcare workers.
  • Expanding the Scope: The amendment significantly expands the scope of protection within the Act. It now includes paramedical students, paramedical staff, security guards, managerial staff, ambulance drivers, and helpers in hospitals. These individuals will now be safeguarded against violence within hospital premises.



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