If someone is sharing fake news, there are several punishments they may face depending on the nature of the crime. For example, making up and sharing fake news on Covid-19 through Whatsapp can result in a person being punished under the law. Some other punishable offences are:
|Publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report which may cause fear or alarm to the public.||Section 505(1) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860||The punishment is jail time of up to 3 years and/or a fine.|
|False alarm regarding a disaster||Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005||The punishment is jail time of up to 1 year or a fine.|
|Making a false claim for obtaining any relief, assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefits consequent to disaster||Section 52 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005||The punishment is jail time of up to 2 years and a fine.|
|Forwarding fake news||Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005||The punishment is jail time of up to 1 year or a fine.|
Although there are many sources of false information on Covid-19, the most reliable sources of information are the following sources:
Information available in a State government’s website is also an authentic source of information. For example, Delhi’s Department of Health website.
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How is the Government taking action against Covid-19?
The Central and State Governments took several actions to control the spread of the disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the Disaster Management Act, 2005 like restricting spread and movement by enforcing lockdowns or curfews and other measures.
What is Covid-19 ?
Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus i.e. severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March, 2020, Covid-19 is associated with symptoms like fever, dry cough and tiredness.