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Discrimination against HIV infected persons

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Govt appoints ombudsman to keep a check on prejudice

Srinagar: In a significant move, the Jammu & Kashmir Government has appointed an ombudsman to whom people infected with HIV can complain about discrimination faced by them.

The Health & Medical Education Department has appointed Sham Lal Lalhal, retired district and sessions judge, as ombudsman to address complaints of discrimination under the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act 2017.

According to a notification issued by the department Sham Lal Lahal has been appointed as ombdusman for a period of three years or till he attains the age of 70, whichever is earlier.

The appointment has been made under the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act 2017.

Under the law, every state and UT shall appoint an ombudsman, who is empowered to inquire into the complaints of discrimination against HIV infected persons and providing of healthcare services to them.

As per the Act, the ombudsman shall submit a report to the state/UT government every six months stating the number and nature of complaints received, the actions taken and orders passed. There is also a provision of penalty of Rs 10,000 if the ombudsman’s order is not complied with. (KNO)


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