Fact check: Does Disaster Management Act prohibit citizens from sharing coronavirus updates?Devdiscourse News Desk | Sonipat | Updated: 04-04-2020 19:04 IST | Created: 04-04-2020 19:03 IST
Social media platforms are flooded with fake news and misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. Adding to the list of fake news is a misleading message that claims that the Disaster Management Act has been implemented in the country and it prohibits citizens from sharing coronavirus updates.
The message reads, "Dear All, Mandate for All: Tonight 12 ( midnight) onwards Disaster Management Act has been implemented across the country. According to this update, apart from the Govt department no other citizen is allowed to post any update or share any forward related to Corona virus and it being punishable offence. Group Admins are requested to post the above update and inform the groups. Please adhere this strictly."
The message is misleading and while the Disaster Management Act has been implemented in the country, it was implemented alongside the 21-day lockdown and it does not prohibit citizens from sharing factual updates. Section 54 of the Act, however, is used to punish people who create or circulate false information.
Sharing fake news can create panic and put people in harm's way. Both central and state governments are actively weeding out people who are circulating fake or misleading information about the COVID 19 pandemic. Readers are encouraged to verify facts before sharing any information regarding the disease.