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Attack On Medical Workers- Specify Measures Taken To Curb Such Incidents, Ensure No Weapon Allowed Inside Hospitals: Gauhati HC To Assam Govt

Sparsh Upadhyay
15 Jun 2021 2:50 PM GMT
Attack On Medical Workers- Specify Measures Taken To Curb Such Incidents, Ensure No Weapon Allowed Inside Hospitals: Gauhati HC To Assam Govt
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Taking note of alleged brutal attack on frontline medical workers (Doctors, Nurses & ward boys by attendants of a covid patient and group of persons in the Udali Model Hospital, Hojai District of Assam on June 1, 2021, the Gauhati High Court has sought Assam Government's reply.The Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak directed the Assam Government to...

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Taking note of alleged brutal attack on frontline medical workers (Doctors, Nurses & ward boys by attendants of a covid patient and group of persons in the Udali Model Hospital, Hojai District of Assam on June 1, 2021, the Gauhati High Court has sought Assam Government's reply.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak directed the Assam Government to specify measures taken by the Government or the measures it proposes to take to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future within two weeks.

The matter before the Court

The Court was hearing a letter petition by Advocate On Record, Supreme Court, Sneha Kalita, in which she stated that Ii the above incident one Dr. Seuj Kr. Senapati ( Victim) was brutally attacked by the attendants following the death of a patient suffering from COVID & pneumonia at Udali Model Hospital in Hojai district of Assam.

Also, some of the frontline medical workers, Doctors, Nurses, and ward boys managed to escape but also got hurt and heavily traumatized by this horrific incident.

"In this ongoing crisis situation, if the health care workers are attacked and face mob violence in the hospital itself, then it's the high time that all stake holders must take all necessary actions against those culprits and book them under the law and also take action as per the Epidemic Disease(Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 as its a gross human rights violation and attacked on fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution of India," the letter further stated.

Apart from raising concern about the doctors and paramedics, who are the frontline warriors and also touching on an incident where a Doctor was manhandled and beaten up by a mob in Udali Model Hospital in the district of Hojai, the petition prayed that suitable measures be taken by the State to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future

State's submission

The Advocate General of the State, D. Saikia apprised this Court that as far as the incident of Udali was concerned, the concerned persons, twenty-four in number, were arrested within twenty-four hours and are presently lodged in jail and due process of law is being followed as far as this incident is concerned.

Moreover, he submitted that the Government itself was conscious about the care it has to give to its doctors and paramedics and it is open for any suggestions and guidelines in this regard as it is a public interest litigation.

To this, the Court said that a statement of progress made in the case be placed before this Court within two weeks from now.

Importantly, the Court said that with immediate effect, it should be ensured that no weapon/firearms are allowed to be taken inside a hospital.

Significantly, the Court directed thus:

"Proper notice of warning is given in every hospital and medical colleges about the consequences to be followed in law if Medicare Service Persons, which include Doctors, Nurses, Para-medical, medical students, nursing students and any other worker employed and working in Medicare Service Institutions [as defined under Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2011], are manhandled or attacked"

Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria argued for the petitioner.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on on 14th July, 2021.

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