Coronavirus Outbreak- Obstruction in enforcing national lockdown will lead to jail
India in 21-days lockdown: Home ministry has issued guidelines for uniform implementation of the provisions and action against those found violating the norms during this period.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 21:45 IST
The home ministry has issued guidelines under the Disaster Management Act (DMA) for application of various measures across the country to fight the spread of coronavirus during the 21-day lockdown announced by prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening.
The guidelines are being issued to maintain “consistency in the application and implementation’ of various measures while maintaining “essential services and supplies including the health infrastructure” says the home ministry release.
MHA guidelines follows the declaration of lockdown, which will come into effect from Tuesday midnight for the next 21 days as announced during PM’s modi address to the nation on Tuesday.
The guidelines have announced a maximum sentence of two years for obstruction of a government official in discharge of his enforcement duties under the DMA.
It also announces several other penalties including jail term for two years for offences like “false claim”, “false warning”, “misappropriation of money or materials” etc.
Prime minister said the lockdown will be “like curfew” but much more stringent than “the Janta Curfew” that was observed voluntarily on Sunday requiring people to stay home except for emergency situations.
“This order should remain in force in all parts of the country for a period of 21 days from 25.03.2020,” the order says.
The home ministry is also expected to announce a “24/7 hotline” to assist states during this period, said a news agency.
Another agency reported that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will chair an urgent meeting with all the state Director Generals of Police (DGPs) and Chief Secretaries on Tuesday night to chalk out a plan on coronavirus pandemic.
Examples of other countries like Italy and the UK among other European nations that have already enforced lockdown suggest that all services and businesses except for essential services will be shut down and people will have to mostly stay at home, except for minimal outings for grocery or for unavoidable medical attention.
The ban on public gatherings and mass events which is already in force will continue along with closure of education institutions and recreational avenues like cinemas, malls, gymnasiums, clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, swimming pools, parks, circuses, community halls, marriage halls, etc will continue.
It is not clear if all public transport will continue to be off road as well, however, it looks likely since Railways has already shut down its services till 31st March and other states have enforced similar curbs on road transport both in the public and the private sector.