Shillong, Apr 3: The government on Thursday, issued an order to states and union territories directing them to book people violating the nation-wide lockdown, under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to all the chief secretaries of the states and union territories citing a letter dated March 31 said, “It was requested to strictly implement the lockdown measures issued by Ministry of Home Affairs in exercise of DM Act, 2005 in letter and spirit, without allowing any exception.
“In the lockdown measures issued by MHA dated 24.03.2020, it is clearly mentioned that any person violating these containment 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 IPC,” he said.
The letter also stated that it is requested that for the attention of the public authorities and citizens, the penal provisions under the DM Act and IPC should be widely circulated and for violation of lockdown measures, action under relevant provisions shall be taken by the law enforcement authorities.
Obstructing enforcement of lockdown could be punishable for jail term of up to two years and anyone making false claim on any matter can be punished up to two years of jail with fine and laws, he said, adding that misappropriation of money or material in disaster-like situation invites two years of jail with fine.
According to Section 51 of DM Act, 2005, anyone who obstructs any government officer or refuses to comply with any direction given by or on behalf of the government shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.
And if such obstruction or refusal to comply with directions results in loss of lives or imminent danger thereof, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.
Section 52 of DM Act, 2005, punishment for false claim, states that anyone making false claims to obtain relief, assistance etc. could be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.
Section 53 of DM Act, 2005, states that whoever, being entrusted with any money or materials, or otherwise being, in custody of, or dominion over, any money or goods, meant for providing relief in any threatening disaster situation or disaster, misappropriates or appropriates for his own use or disposes of such money or materials is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.
Punishment for issuing false warning under Section 54 of DM Act, 2005, states, anyone could be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.
Section 55 of DM Act, 2005, states that if any government department commits an offence then the head of the department will be deemed responsible unless he proves otherwise.
In case any officer, on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act and who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his office shall, unless he has obtained the express written permission of his official superior or has other lawful excuse for so doing, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine under Section 56 of DM Act.
Section 57 of DM Act, 2005, discusses penalty for contravention of any order regarding requisitioning under section 65 which will extend to one year or fine or both.
Punishment for offence by companies under Section 58 of DM Act, 2005 states everyone who at the time of offence were in charge will be deemed responsible along with the company and will be punished accordingly.
Section 59 and 60 of DM Act, 2005 discusses previous sanction for prosecution and cognizance of offences respectively.