• Thabshira Sahanath

Spreading Disease can put you behind the bars : Sec 269 IPC

The world is strangled by the Covid pandemic and it's really important to be cautious on not to spread the disease. Covid cases in the country is on the surge and imposing stringent rules is the immediate action required. Section 269 of the Indian Penal Code is very much relatable. A negligent act is likely to spread a disease rapidly and situation can turn uncontrollable.

The section states that: Whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. The Indian law identifies this as a cognizable and bailable offence.

The law encompasses the careless disposal of dead animals ,food , stagnant water leading to the accumulation of mosquito or infectious microbes and these actions can pave way to the big house. In March 2018,The Health Ministry declared that the failure of a clinical institution to report about a tuberculosis patient to the nodal officer can be punished under section 269 and 270.The doctors, chemists and hospital staffs could face a jail term .

In Dr. Meeru Bhatia Prasad vs State, High Court case ,the doctor went on trial formalities under section 269 . The plea was the needle used in amniocentesis lead to infection and subsequent abortion. The enforcement of this section was clearly visible during the lockdown of 2020.The violation of the law is equivalent to hindering the national effort . Recently cricketer Suresh Raina and singer Guru Randhawa were arrested for violation of this law .They were partying at a club and found without masks.

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