Hyderabad: The Telangana government recently passed an order making it mandatory to wear masks in public places. Following this a photo of a Rs. 2,000 challan issued by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has gone viral on social media with the claim that it was issued for violating the said rule.
According to one Twitter user who shared the photo, "Wearing a mask has become mandatory in #Telangana from today till 30th April 2021. Violation of this rule may land you in jail for upto 1 month which may extend upto 2 years along with fine under Section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 & Section 188 IPC. #StaySafe (sic)."
A web portal, deccan.news, also shared this image and wrote, "A team from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) paid a surprise visit to Dhanalaxmi Steels in Fateh Nagar in the city and found that none of the staff complied with the mask rule. The GHMC immediately imposed a fine under HMC law and issued a challan of Rs. 2,000."
The claim that the GHMC is levying fine for not wearing a mask in Hyderabad is FALSE.
NewsMeter searched using the keywords "GHMC challan for not wearing mask" and found that the viral image is from May 2020.
Some Facebook users had shared the post in May 2020. Also, we can see that the date of issue on the challan is 27/5/2020. The challan number - 1353 - is the same as the one on the viral image. The date on the challan issued in May 2020 has been changed to falsely show that it is recent.
The original challan was issued to a company named Dhanalaxmi Steels in Fateh Nagar Hyderabad on 27 May 2020 by the GHMC.
Here is the comparison between the two challans.
NewsMeter approached the GHMC and the officials clarified that it was an old receipt. "The announcement to enforce restricted action was issued on 27 March 2021, but the enforcement is yet to start. No zonal commissioner has imposed any fine. The receipt doing the rounds is old," said the chief public relations officer, GHMC.
Therefore, the photo of a GHMC challan imposing fine of Rs. 2,000 for not wearing a mask is old. Hence, the claim is FALSE.