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Fighting swine flu legally

Swine flu
Swine flu
Indian blawg Law and Other Things posted a brilliant article dissecting the statutory framework that is being used to deprive suspected swine flu cases of their liberty. But, asks the blawg, is the Act actually fit for purpose?

Probably not: although swine flu is frightening and has reached global pandemic status, it is technically unlikely to be an epidemic in India and would thus not fall within the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

While some of the powers of the Act are suitably draconian to allow the state to deal with diseases serious enough to destroy it (although the maximum Rs 200 fine is unlikely to hurt much), does the 100-odd-year-old legislation leave public health officials defenceless against the virus until it is too late?

Photo by Fleur-design under Creative Commons licence.

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