Acting on the directions issued by the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed all states and the union territories to take effective measures against fake news in view of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing lockdown.
Notably, the directions were issued the apex court took cognisance of the panic caused by the spread of fake news leading to the mass movement of migrant labours, their plight, and untold sufferings.
In a directive dated April 1 to chief secretaries of all states, union home secretary Ajay Bhalla has informed that the Centre will soon create a web-portal for people to verify facts and unverified news promptly. The states have been requested to create a similar mechanism at their level to deal with local issues.
Bhalla has also asked the states to submit their Action Taken Report (ATR) to the ministry to enable it to apprise the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the Supreme Court while considering a writ petition had sought a status report on the steps taken by the Centre for preventing the spread of coronavirus in India.
The Centre had submitted the report on March 31 and the Supreme Court had expressed satisfaction with it. The next date of hearing is on April 7.
The Supreme Court has also made observations and directions to ensure the provision of basic amenities such as food, medicines, etc, in line with Disaster Management Act, Ministry of Home Affairs directives and other welfare activities in relief shelters for migrant labourers.
The States and UTs have also been communicated to comply with the directives, advisories, and orders issued by the central government in letter and spirit, for containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.