CHANDIGARH: The Punjab police on Monday booked Lok Insaaf Party MLA Simarjit Singh Bains for allegedly inciting people against wearing masks and misleading them by various rumours on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FIR against Bains was registered on a complaint by Ludhiana civil surgeon who requested legal action against the MLA from Atam Nagar constituency for allegedly misguiding people through a video clip on COVID-19, a police spokesperson said.
The case against the MLA has been registered under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act and the IPC at Ludhiana, he said.
A legal opinion was also sought on the issue by the Ludhiana Police before lodging the case against the MLA, he added.
In his complaint, the civil surgeon had said Bains' video clip is being played on various social media platforms, leading to the creation of an atmosphere of confusion among the public, regarding the pandemic.
Bains was also inciting people not to wear masks, said the complaint.
In his legal opinion, Ludhiana district attorney noted that Bains is giving statements about the severity and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
Bains is claiming that coronavirus is a bogey created by the government to perpetuate its power by misleading people and asking them not to wear masks, the district attorney opined.
He further mentioned that even though Bains is an elected MLA, who is representing a section of citizens of Ludhiana, he is misleading people by forbidding them to wear face masks, which have been made compulsory by the central government to protect the health of the citizens.
Already so many lives have been lost due to the Corona pandemic in the country as well as in Punjab, the attorney pointed out in his report, concluding that Bains is thus willfully endangering the health and safety of the people in the state by inciting them to violate the directions, norms and guidelines laid down by the Central and the state governments under the Disaster Management Act, Epidemics Act etc.
Even the WHO (World Health Organisation) has advised the wearing of face masks, he further noted.