The Himachal Pradesh assembly passed a bill to protect medical and medical staff from violence, most often by relatives of a dead patient.
Health Minister Rajeev Bindal, who introduced the Himachal Pradesh Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2009, said the measure was required to prevent violence against medicare personnel and damage to property in medical service institutions in specific situations arising due to death of a patient.
The bill provides for imprisonment up to one year and a fine that may extend to Rs.5,000 to anyone resorting to violence against medical and para-medical staff.
However, all offences under the bill are bailable.
Justifying the rationale for the legislation, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said some times a situation arises when the kith and kin get agitated after the death of a patient in the hospital or clinic.
He said that even the Indian Medical Association had been demanding steps to ensure prevention of such incidents in the state.
Opposition Congress legislators Kuldip Pathania and Rajesh Dharmani demanded that private clinics and hospitals should also be brought into the ambit of the bill. (IANS)