NEW DELHI:A lockdown is essentially an emergency protocol aimed to restrict the movement of people from a given area – it can be either partial or full.
A full lockdown will mean you must stay where you are and not exit or enter a building or the given area.
Earlier, there was lockdown in parts of India till 31 March, but Modi on Tuesday extended it for another two weeks, that is till 14 April, and to the entire country, starting from Tuesday midnight.
Though the prime minister termed the lockdown a “kind of curfew”, a lockdown, in fact, is very different from a curfew.
Firstly, a curfew is a response to a law and order situation, whereas, the current lockdown is a response to a health emergency.
Secondly, the goal of a lockdown is to restrict the movement of people from one area to another area, and as seen in most cases, people will be allowed to step out and go to shops to buy essential items like milk, grocery, vegetables, medicines, etc. Whereas, in times of curfew, no person is allowed on the road.
Third, a curfew is for a smaller period of time and is lifted whenever the authorities have the confidence that the law and order situation has improved. This lockdown, on the other hand, will end only after the stated period of time is over. Not before that.
Like the other 136 countries, India has also been affected by the novel coronavirus. However, according to authorities, the country is still at stage two of the infection. Once it reaches stage three, which is when community transmission, starts to take place, it will be very difficult to contain the spread of the virus.
So far social distancing has emerged as one of the best ways to contain the spread of the virus. A lockdown of this scale is aimed to restrict the people from going outside and catching the infection from other infected people.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the 21-day lockdown, people violating it can face punishment that may include a fine from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 or imprisonment from one month to two years or both, depending on the severity of disobedience.
as per Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2015, those violating the lockdown can be punished for specific offences such as obstructing a govt official and govt employees, refusing to comply with an order, making false claims, spreading false alarm and misappropriation of money or materials meant for disaster management.
People can be punished with a jail of one year to two years with or without a fine depending on the offence committed. The sections apply to individuals as well as government departments and companies.
Section 188 of the IPC: Those who are caught disobeying a public servant may face penalties or imprisonment depending on the impact of the offence. The punishment ranges from simple imprisonment for a month with a fine of Rs two hundred for simply disobeying an order or causing harm or annoyance to a public servant. But if the act of disobeying the order causes or tends to cause harm to human life, health or safety, or tends to cause a riot or affray, then the person may be imprisoned up to six months or with a fine up to Rs one thousand or both.
It’s important to note that knowingly disobeying the order with or without cause harm is sufficient to attract punishment under Section 188.