Serious offences such as hoarding or spreading rumours can invite imprisonment of seven years

The violation of directives from the police, the state government or the central government on lockdown can land you in jail for up to two years, though all the sections under which you can be booked for this offence are bailable. For serious offences such as hoarding of essential commodities, you can be imprisoned for up to seven years.

Not only this, once the case is registered against you, you will get involved in a long-drawn-out court battle, and will have to spend considerable time, energy and money defending yourself.

If you violate lockdown orders without valid reasons, spread rumours, create mischief or hoard essential commodities, you could be booked under the following Acts.

INDIAN PENAL CODE

Section 188 — Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. The provisions say that if a person disobeys a direction by a public servant, the person can be punished with simple imprisonment of up to one month or with fine of Rs 200 or both.

If such disobedience leads to endangering human life or public safety, then the offence is punishable with six months’ simple imprisonment or a fine of Rs1, 000 or both.

Section 270 — Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease danger¬ous to life. Those committing the offence can be punished with a jail term of up to two years, or with a fine, or with both.

Section 505 (2) — Spreading rumours and causing mischief-imprisonment up to three years or a fine or both

NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT 2005

Section 51 (B) — Refusal to comply with the directions issued by the government. This offence is punishable with one-year imprisonment or a fine or both. However, if such an act results in imminent danger to life or causes loss of life, then it is punishable with imprisonment of two years or fine or both.

Section 52 – Making a false claim with intention to secure assistance from government authorities. The offence is punishable with imprisonment of two years or fine or both.

Section 54 – Raising false alarm or warning. It calls for imprisonment up to one year or a fine or both.

THE EPIDEMIC DISEASE ACT 1897

Section 2, 3 and 4 – Violation of orders of a government servant. The offence invites imprisonment of one to four months or a fine or both.

ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES ACT

Section 3&6 – Hoarding essential commodities. You can be imprisoned for a period between six months and seven years, and asked to pay a fine

MAHARASHTRA POLICE ACT

Section 37 (3) and 135 – Violation of prohibitory orders issued under the Act. No gathering of more than four people at one place. Those violating this law can be imprisoned for up to four months.

Police punishing a man in Santacruz for stepping out of his house for apparently no valid reason on Wednesday

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