Freedom of Expression during the pandemic – 3


Rundown Freedom of articulation is ensured under article 19(1) (a) of India’s Constitution. No arrangement in Indian law explicitly manages “counterfeit news.” However, various offenses under different laws condemn certain types of discourse that may establish “counterfeit news” and have been applied to cases including the spread of bogus news with respect to 19, including sections of the Penal Code and section 54 of the Disaster The executives Act, 2005.

Legitimate Framework Applicable to “Counterfeit News” and COVID-19

Opportunity of articulation is referenced in the preface of India’s Constitution and is ensured as one of a few central rights under Part III, article 19(1) (a), which expresses that “all residents will have the privilege to the right to speak freely of discourse and expression.” This privilege isn’t supreme and is subject to “sensible limitations in light of a legitimate concern for the power and uprightness of India, the security of the State, inviting relations with unfamiliar States, public request, goodness or ethical quality, or comparable to hatred of court, maligning or instigation to an offence.” Article 358 of the Constitution identifies with the suspension of rights under article 19 during a pronounced crisis, and article 359 gives the strategy to suspending requirement of the key rights presented by Part III “during emergencies.”

No arrangement in Indian law explicitly manages “counterfeit news.” However, various offenses under different laws condemn certain types of discourse that may establish “counterfeit news” and have been applied to cases including the spread of bogus news with respect to COVID-19. Specifically, section 505 of India’s Penal Code forbids “articulations conducing to public underhandedness” and subjects to a jail or fine “whoever makes, distributes or circles any announcement, gossip or report with expectation to cause, or which is probably going to cause, dread or alert to general society, or to any part of the public whereby any individual might be incited to submit an offense against the State or then again against the public tranquillity.”

At first, in February 2020, the Union (or local) government was exhorting “pertinent offices” of the states and association domains to make suitable move to “avoid the spread of phony news, warnings, bits of gossip and pointless data through appropriate media management.”

Governments at the Union and state level have used and summoned the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, specifies that “whoever makes or circles a bogus alert or cautioning as to debacle or its seriousness or extent, prompting alarm, will on conviction, be culpable with detainment which may stretch out to one year or with a fine.” The 21-day public lockdown request gave by the Union government makes reference to this section. In late March, the Union Minister of Interior declared that “rumours are being spread about Coronavirus in the nation prompting falsehood. FIR [First Information Reports or police complaints] will be enlisted against those engaged with spreading of these bits of gossip and exacting move will be made under arrangements of the Disaster Management Act.”

State governments have additionally given guidelines to manage COVID-19 under the Epidemic Sicknesses Act of 1897 that remember arrangements or rules for getting out bogus word. For instance, the Maharashtra government provided the Maharashtra COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, which “prohibit associations or people from publicizing data about the Covid without finding out earlier freedom from pertinent government wellbeing specialists, so as to dodge the spread of misinformation.” Section 3 of the 1897 Act specifies that “any individual resisting any guideline or request made under this Act will be considered to have submitted an offense culpable under section 188 (‘defiance to arrange appropriately declared by open worker’) of the Indian Penal Code.”

If the defiance “causes or will in general reason peril to human life, wellbeing or security, or causes or will in general reason a mob or affray, the perpetrator will be rebuffed with detainment of either depiction for a term which may reach out to a half year, or with fine which may reach out to 1,000 rupees, or with both.” Notably, a few different laws furthermore, auxiliary guidelines, including Section 69A of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, have been utilized in the past to hinder web substance and execute web closures to manage counterfeit news.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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