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The government declared #COVID-19 as a “notified disaster” under the #Disaster Management Act, 2005. As per Section 10 of the Act, the Health Ministry has directed National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to regulate the price and availability of #sanitizers and #masks. (1/n)
The prevention of fake news over social media is also being controlled by the #government.
It is for the first time that under Section 6(2)(i) of the Act, a national lockdown was declared by the National Disaster Management Authority and implemented in the States u/s 38. (2/n)
This affects the freedom of movement and assembly of citizens with the exception of provision of essential goods, but is required for the prevention of the spread of #COVID19. Hence, the police are permitted to book violators of the lockdown under the provisions of the IPC. (3/n)
Charges are being imposed on the grounds of #negligent (S. 269 IPC) or #malignant (S. 270 IPC) acts to spread an #infectious #disease which is dangerous to human life. #Quarantine is defined under Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code and disobeying it is punishable. (4/n)
Before the announcement of the #lockdown, some states hadused the #Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to declare #COVID19 as an #endemic and imposed orders to control the outbreak, the breach of which would be punishable u/s 188 of the IPC. (5/n)
Alternatively, many others had invoked the provision of Section 144 CrPC at their own peril to control the situation. Some had even invoked a total #curfew to combat the spread of the virus. (6/n)
After the enforcement of the lockdown, many states have resorted to creating their own regulations to maintain equilibrium while some are still functioning in a haphazard manner.
This could possibly endanger the mission to curb the spread of
#COVID19. (7/n)
It is debated whether declaring a financial #emergency would have been a better alternative as it would provide unified control to the government. It is argued that this #pandemic has the potential to disrupt the #economy which is evident from the crash in the stock market. (8/n)
Unified control would inhibit #arbitrary #financial decisions taken by individual states and reduce our chances of facing a #recession. (9/n)
However, #health and #police are state subjects, and in the absence of a “medical emergency” provision, a “financial #emergency” should not be used as a garb to curtail civil liberties. (10/n)
Moreover, #financial emergencies can be implemented indefinitely and would raise serious questions on the #accountability of the #government. (11/n)

#Covid_19 #COVID #COVID19Pandemic #COVID19outbreak
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