Section 21 in The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017

Title: Grievance redressal mechanism

Description: Every establishment referred to in sub-section (1) of section 20 shall designate such person, as it deems fit, as the Complaints Officer who shall dispose of complaints of violations of the provisions of this Act in the establishment, in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed.

Title: Strategies for reduction of risk

Description: Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force any strategy or mechanism or technique adopted or implemented for reducing the risk of HIV transmission, or any act pursuant thereto, as carried out by persons, establishments or organisations in the manner as may be specified in the guidelines issued by the Central Government shall not be restricted or prohibited in any manner, and shall not amount to a criminal offence or attract civil liability. Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, strategies for reducing risk of HIV transmission means promoting actions or practices that minimise a person's risk of exposure to HIV or mitigate the adverse impacts related to HIV or AIDS including— (i) the provisions of information, education and counselling services relating to prevention of HIV and safe practices; (ii) the provisions and use of safer sex tools, including condoms; (iii) drug substitution and drug maintenance; and (iv) provision of comprehensive injection safety requirements. Illustrations (a) A supplies condoms to B who is a sex worker or to C, who is a client of B. Neither A nor B nor C can be held criminally or civilly liable for such actions or be prohibited, impeded, restricted or prevented from implementing or using the strategy. (b) M carries on an intervention project on HIV or AIDS and sexual health information, education and counselling for men, who have sex with men, provides safer sex information, material and condoms to N, who has sex with other men. Neither M nor N can be held criminally or civilly liable for such actions or be prohibited, impeded, restricted or prevented from implementing or using the intervention. (c) X, who undertakes an intervention providing registered needle exchange programme services to injecting drug users, supplies a clean needle to Y, an injecting drug user who exchanges the same for a used needle. Neither X nor Y can be held criminally or civilly liable for such actions or be prohibited, impeded, restricted or prevented from implementing or using the intervention. (d) D, who carries on an intervention programme providing Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST), administers OST to E, an injecting drug user. Neither D nor E can be held criminally or civilly liable for such actions or be prohibited, impeded, restricted or prevented from implementing or using the intervention.

Title: Appointment of Ombudsman

Description: (1) Every State Government shall appoint one or more Ombudsman,— (a) possessing such qualification and experience as may be prescribed, or (b) designate any of its officers not below such rank, as may be prescribed, by that Government, to exercise such powers and discharge such functions, as may be conferred on Ombudsman under this Act. (2) The terms and condition of the service of an Ombudsman appointed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government. (3) The Ombudsman appointed under sub-section (1) shall have such jurisdiction in respect of such area or areas as the State Government may, by notification, specify.

Title: Powers of Ombudsman

Description: (1) The Ombudsman shall, upon a complaint made by any person, inquire into the violations of the provisions of this Act, in relation to acts of discrimination mentioned in section 3 and providing of healthcare services by any person, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government. (2) The Ombudsman may require any person to furnish information on such points or matters, as he considers necessary, for inquiring into the matter and any person so required shall be deemed to be legally bound to furnish such information and failure to do so shall be punishable under sections 176 and 177 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860). (3) The Ombudsman shall maintain records in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government.

Title: Procedure of complaint

Description: The complaints may be made to the Ombudsman under sub-section (1) of section 24 in such manner, as may be prescribed, by the State Government.