One year jail for spreading false news and rumours on coronavirus

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Police have warned that those spreading false news and rumours on coronavirus may be jailed up to one year.

Hours after the state government announced shutdown to contain coronavirus, the police chief warned against rumours and false news.

Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said false news and rumours are bad for society. He said those who are spreading false information on social media and creating panic on coronavirus were liable for punishment under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Act section. Punishment under the Act can be up to one year imprisonment and fine, he said.

“Whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine,” says section 54 of the Act.

Announcing the closure of all educational institutions and banning public gatherings, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Saturday night warned the media against publishing or airing unconfirmed reports about coronavirus cases.

He asked the media outlets to strictly go by the information released from the health department with regard to the coronavirus cases. “Those spreading false news will face stringent action,” he said.

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