New Delhi, May 17 : The Central government, which on Sunday extended the nation-wide lockdown for another 14 days till May 31, warned of strict action under the Disaster Management Act and Indian Penal Code if the fresh guidelines are not complied with.
The nationwide lockdown was first imposed for 21 days starting March 25 and then extended on April 15 and later on May 4 with an aim to stem the spread of novel coronavirus.
This is the fourth time the lockdown has been imposed in the country, though, this time certain curbs have been relaxed in areas with limited virus infection to boost the economy.
“Any person violating measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable,” the Ministry of Home Affairs warned.
The government said that if any person obstructs any officer in the discharge of his functions or refuses to comply with any direction given by the Central or the state government shall be punishable with imprisonment for one year or with fine.
“If such obstruction or refusal to comply with directions results in loss of lives or imminent danger, the person shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years,” the fresh guidelines stated.
Besides this, the government said that if anyone makes a “false claim” for obtaining any relief assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefits, they will be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years with fine.
Similarly, if anyone makes a “false warning” to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, they will be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.
The government said that no court shall take cognizance of an offence under the Disaster Management Act except on a complaint made by the national or the state authority, the Central or the state government or the district authority.
Disobeying order duly promulgated by a public servant which may cause obstruction, annoyance or injury will attract simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, with fine which may extend to Rs 200, or both under the IPC.
“If such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, it shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both,” the guidelines added.