In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, a lot of fake news and misinformation has been circulating on social media. Recently, reports surfaced that the Modi Government is likely to impose a "Financial Emergency" in the country in response to the economic shocks due to the deadly pandemic. It was claimed that Article 360 of the Constitution may be invoked as a measure to tide the crisis.
The Press Information Bureau's fake news buster PIB Fact Check on Twitter busted this claim on Tuesday. It labelled such reports "false" and advised caution against such "malicious and fake" stories.
An online website has falsely reported that the Government is likely to impose Financial Emergency in India to tackle the crisis caused by #Covid19.— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 24, 2020
Please be advised that the story is malicious and fake and that there is no such plan. pic.twitter.com/5lx0u3NUED
The Constitution's Article 360 allows the President – on the advice of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet – to impose a "state of financial emergency". Once imposed, it empowers the Centre to direct States on how to use their financial resources. The law would also allow the Centre to revise the salaries of all government officials. It gives a wide range of powers to the Centre to intervene in the economy and undertake surgical financial measures.
PIB Fact Check was started in December last year to counter misinformation on government policies/schemes during the anti-CAA agitation. The handle has been regularly posting illustrations with facts and figures on viral fake news that circulates often on social media. In its profile bio, the page has mentioned the email address — email@example.com — on which users can send pieces of unconfirmed information, which the agency will then look into and post whether it's fake news.
Last week, a viral clip did rounds on social media that claimed how India will be in lockdown for two months. The audio says that India will be under lockdown from April 15 to June 15. PIB Fact Check had immediately rubbished the authenticity of this audio clip.