HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Role of Judiciary and Social Welfare to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic in Nepal: A Study with Special Reference to India’s Epidemic Law

Dr. Alok Kumar Yadav (Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University) Jivesh Jha, ILI Law Review (2020):

The competent legislature of Nepal has adopted and enacted an epidemic law regime to curtail the transmission of outbreaks. However, these laws have glaring gaps. They are not comprehensive in nature. Nepal’s then king Mahendra brought Infectious Disease Act, 1964 into force to deal with the outbreaks. This one-page Act is much similar to that of India’s Epidemic Act, 1897 which discusses about the rights of the state but fails to prescribe the duties of the government towards its vulnerable citizens during the period of contagion. The 1964 Act fails to prescribe welfare functions to be carried out by the instrumentalities of the state for the welfare of the people. It means this law does not recognize the rights of the people during an outbreak. The crown’s law does not necessarily cast an obligation on the state instruments of Nepal to ensure the availability of food or compensation or financial assistance to the daily wagers, migrant labourers, informal sectors or poor and needy ones who have suffered due to unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the epidemic law of India is also enacted in similar terms. The prevailing epidemic law regimes of India and Nepal neither direct the state to advance research on antibodies/antidotes nor do they oblige the states to set up a common forum of lawyers, economists, sociologists, biologists, bacteriologists, virologists, biomedical scientists and among other experts to devise plans and policies for crisis preparedness and vulnerability reduction.

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