A post with a claim that the government has decided to implement Disaster Management Act under which no person apart from government officials will be allowed to share or post COVID-19 updates has gone viral. It also states that any violation will be deemed to be a punishable offence.
The post viral on social media reads, “आज रात्रि १२ बजे से सम्पूर्ण भारत में आपदा प्रबधन ऐक्ट लागू किया जाता हे। इसके अंतर्गत सरकारी विभाग को छोड़ कर अन्य किसी भी व्यक्ति को करोना से जुड़े संदेश पोस्ट करने पर दंडात्मक कार्यवाही की जायगी सभी ग्रुप ऐड्मिन अपने। ग्रुप में बताय”
(Translation: Disaster Management Act is implemented all over India from 12 am tonight. Under this, any person except the government department will be punishable for posting messages or posts related to COVID-19)
Here’s the link to the above post.
NewsMobile fact-checked this post and found it to be fake.
Starting with our investigation, we searched the web for media reports since every major news related to COVID-19 is covered in news reports. But we could not find any report corroborating with the viral claim.
Also, as per the Disaster Management Act, there is no such provision that says that apart from government departments, no other citizen is allowed to update or share news related to a disaster.
Although, according to section 54 of the Act, “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.” But it nowhere states anything related to COVID-19 updates.
On digging further, we found two tweets by the government’s nodal agency Press Information Bureau (PIB), in which they have rejected the claim that no person apart from government official will be allowed to share or post COVID-19 updates.
Hence, from the above information, it is evident that the government has NOT issued any such directives and the viral claim is FAKE.
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