ESSENTIAL SERVICES MAINTENANCE ACT (ESMA)
16, Jun 2019
Prelims level : Polity Mains level : GS-II Governance, Social Justice and International Relations
- Doctors Strike in West Bengal regarding assault on doctors by public. Esma is Central law.
- ESMA enables the Government to ban strikes and demand conciliation or arbitration in certain “essential” industries.
- Act also allows states to choose the essential services on which to enforce Esma.
- Its implementation is entirely on discretion of State Government.
Provisions of Act:
- Esma gives police the right to arrest, without a warrant, anybody violating the Act’s provisions. “Any person who commences a strike…or otherwise takes part in… any such strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both,” the Act reads.
- “Any person who instigates…a strike which is illegal under this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”
- Provisions that need to be brought to assure that there is no disruption in vital services like Health. Reasons for recent attacks on doctors by public across the country and what are solution to avoid the same?
- Poor Doctor patient ratio,
- Infrastructural bottle necks of health sector. Accessibility of quality health care for poor.
- Right to strike for people in essential service such as health sector?