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Report No. 249

4. Public Health (Emergency Provisions) Ordinance, Ordinance 21 of 1944

Category: Public Health

Recommendation: Repeal after consultation with States

This Ordinance made special provisions for preventing the spread of human disease, safeguarding the public health and providing and maintaining adequate medical services and other services essential to the health of the community. It empowered the appropriate Government to take such measures as may be necessary for the purpose of this Ordinance and placed an obligation on the local authority to comply with the orders of the Government in that regard.

'Appropriate Government', for the purposes of this Ordinance, meant the Central Government, in relation to cantonment authorities, and the State Government, in relation to all other local authorities. There is no evidence of recent use of this Act.

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 addresses similar concerns and empowers the State Government and the Central Government to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic diseases. However, since public health and sanitation is now a State subject (See Entry 6, List II, Seventh Schedule of the Constitution), the Central Government should repeal this Ordinance after consultation with the States.


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