From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Significance of self-imposed curfew
After the Janata Curfew, many other states took the Centre’s advice to enforce a full lockdown in districts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The orders issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus have been framed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which lays down punishment as per Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
What is Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code?
- Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, provides penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act.
- These are according to Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
- It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm.
- It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.
What happens if you violate the lockdown orders?
Under Section 188, there two offences:
1) Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant, If such disobedience causes obstruction, annoyance or injury to persons lawfully employed
Punishment: Simple Imprisonment for 1 month or fine of Rs 200 or both
2) If such disobedience causes danger to human life, health or safety, etc.
Punishment: Simple Imprisonment for 6 months or fine of Rs 1000 or both
According to the First Schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973, both offences are cognizable, bailable, and can be tried by any magistrate.