HYDERABAD: A WhatsApp message claiming Disaster Management Act has been implemented across the country and no citizen is allowed to post any update or share any news related to COVID 19. It said doing so is a punishable offence.
NewsMeter found that the viral message is fake as no such provision was made in the Disaster Management Act.
The Disaster Management Act was implemented to deal with COVID 19. There is no provision wherein that bars citizen from sharing news related to a disaster. See a copy of the order here.
However, on March 31, 2020, the Supreme Court passed an order that Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act "provides for punishment to a person who makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic. Such a person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine".
The claim that no citizen apart from the government team can post or share any updates on COVID 19 is false.
The claim was termed false by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) Fact Check Team. " Msgs circulating on social media claiming-apart from Govt no citizen is allowed to post/forward update on #COVID19- is MISLEADING & FALSE," PIB tweeted.
Furthermore, this message was also debunked by several media organizations in April 2020. All media reports state that the viral claim is fake and that the Disaster Management Act does not restrict citizens to post updates on Covid-19
Evidently, the WhatsApp message is fake.