Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

On March 11.2020 , Delhi and Uttarakhand invoked  Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 brings us to learn about epidemic disease act.

Introduction :

  • The act was introduced by colonial government to tackle bubonic plague that had spread in Bombay Presidency in the 1890s.

 Provisions :

This was a one page act and has only 4 provisions.

1.It extends to whole of India .

2.Power to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease.—

          When a state government is satisfied that the state or any part of state government is threatened with a dangerous epidemic disease outbreak ,the state government if it thinks that ordinary provisions of the law are insufficient ,it may take necessary measures and prescribe temporary regulations that are to be observed by the public.
          The provision also mentions that,the state government may also take measures and prescribe regulations for the inspections of the persons travelling by railway or otherwise ,and segregation,in hospital, temporary accommodation or otherwise ,of persons suspected by the inspecting officer of being infected by any such disease.

2A. Powers of Central Government :

It empowers the central government to inspect any ship leaving or arriving at any port and for detention thereof,or any person intending to sail therein,or arriving thereby.


Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ).

4.Protection to persons acting under Act.

No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything done or in good faith intended to be done under this Act.

Note :

In 1897 freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak was punished with 18 months  imprisonment after his newspapers Kesari and Mahratta newspapers criticized Colonial authorities  for their handling of the plague epidemic.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *