SRINAGAR: Fake news has always been a menace and during these difficult times, it has only added to the difficulties in fighting the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines today in which a series of instructions were given about the services to be open and closed. Annexure III on page 11 deals with the Offences and Penalties for violation of lockdown measures.
Fake News Buster
While this Annexure deals with the punishment for obstruction of a government official, it also specifies the punishments for fake news, forwards, claims etc.
Under the subject punishment for false warning, the MHA has said, “whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude leading to panic, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.”
Further, under the subject punishment for false claim, the MHA has said, “whoever knowingly makes a false claim which he knows or has reason to believe to be false for obtaining any relief, assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefits consequent to disaster from any officer, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term that may extend to two years and also with fine.”