Covid-19 outbreak: NSA against lockdown violators
Deputy inspector general (Dehradun) Arun Mohan Joshi said the decision to invoke the NSA was taken after police received reports that “some people are deliberately not following the precautionary measures”Updated: Apr 15, 2020 06:31 IST
Police in Dehradun on Tuesday said they would book deliberate violaters of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 under the stringent National Security Act, which allows detention without trial for up to a year.
Deputy inspector general (Dehradun) Arun Mohan Joshi said the decision to invoke the NSA was taken after police received reports that “some people are deliberately not following the precautionary measures”. He added there are some areas in the city, where people were still coming out of their homes without any reason despite several appeals. “Police will now take strict action against them by booking them under the NSA.”
The Dehradun police said they will also book those under the NSA who are “deliberately not taking precautions like wearing masks and spitting to spread the infection and misbehaving with health workers” in the district. Dehradun has reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases —18 — in Uttarakhand. The state overall has 35 cases.
Legal experts said the proposed move will amount to the misuse of the NSA as violaters can be booked under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, which are in force to implement the lockdown.
Kartikeya Hari Gupta, a senior Uttarakhand high court advocate, said, “If the police have decided to do so then they are clearly unaware of the law. When there are provisions in both the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act for the offenders, then what is the need to impose the stringent NSA?”
He added the police can even book the offenders for culpable homicide or murder. “The police should understand that though this is a serious pandemic, they have to work as per the law.”
Joshi said the police have decided to invoke the NSA as it is a stricter law than the Epidemic Diseases Act.