Those who violate Coronavirus lockdown could be jailed for 2 years and fined

Delhi Police
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to control the spread of Coronavirus, on Tuesday. The lockdown began a few hours after his speech and will end on April 14.

While announcing the lockdown, Modi insisted that everyone adheres to the lockdown. “If we do not adhere to the 21-day lockdown, the next 21 years will be affected. And many families will be destroyed,” he said.

What does a lockdown mean?

A lockdown is an emergency protocol that restricts people from leaving an area. People are required to stay where they are and not leave the building or the given area until it is lifted.

Only essential services are allowed to operate during the lockdown. People are also prohibited from gathering at one place. The maximum number of persons allowed can vary from state to state, but it is generally in the range of 2-4 people.

Penalties for violating the lockdown

The National Disaster Management Authority issued an order to the state governments to take effective measures and ensure strict implementation of the lockdown.


These guidelines also specified penalties for violators and those spreading fake information about the pandemic.

Sec 51 - ObstructionImprisonment up to two years, or fine, or both
Sec 52 - False claimImprisonment up to two years with fine
Sec 53 - Misappropriation of money or materialsImprisonment up to two years with fine
Sec 54 - False warningImprisonment up to one year, or fine
Sec 55 - Offences by Departments of GovernmentDetermined on a case to case basis
Sec 56 - Failure of officer in duty, etcImprisonment up to one year, or fine
Sec 57 - Contravention of any order regarding requisitioningImprisonment up to one year, or fine
Sec 58 - Offences by companiesDetermined on a case to case basis

Here is what will count as a violation

Section 51 – Obstruction

If you obstruct a government officer or employee from carrying out his duties or refuse to comply with any directions issued under the act.

Section 52 – False claim

This section will be applied when you make a false claim in person, in writing or on social media that you know is false to obtain relief or assistance from the government or NDMA.

Section 53 – Misappropriation of money or materials

This section will be applicable if you misappropriate money or material meant for relief efforts during the disaster for your own benefit.

Section 54 – False warning

If you share or circulate false information about the disaster or its severity, leading to panic, this section will be applicable.

Section 55 – Offences by Departments of Government

This section deals with the offences by departments of the government during the disaster.

Section 56 – Failure of officer in duty

This section is applicable when a government officer on duty fails to perform his duties relating to the lockdown or withdraws from performing duties.

Section 57 – Contravention of order regarding requisitioning

The Disaster Management Act allows NDMA to requisition any resource, including building and vehicles to carry out its duties to contain the disaster. This section will be applied if someone fails to comply with such a requisition order.

Section 58 – Offences by companies

This section is applicable when a company or body corporate commits an offence under this Act.

See also:

Prime Minister Modi declares 21-day nationwide lockdown starting midnight

Here's how a 21-day lockdown might help break the Covid-19 chain

Here’s what you can access during the 21-day lockdown across India