Some say the age of the internet has become the age of disinformation because we don’t know what news to trust. On the SCC Online Blog, we have introduced a new feature this year, called the Fact Check. The purpose of this feature is to Fact check fake news about laws passed or enforced or implemented. Here is a round up of the important fact checks of the year 2020.

  • Fact Check: Is it illegal to share pdfs of e-papers on Whatsapp? A viral social media post has been doing the rounds that it is illegal to share the pdf links of e-papers on Whatsapp and other media. Post lockdown, many housing societies have put restrictions on the delivery of newspapers. Therefore, residents of such societies and others have become dependent on pdfs of e-papers being circulated for their fix of the daily newspaper. A report in Dainik Bhaskar stated that action can be taken against the group admin of a Whatsapp group for not putting an end to the circulation of such pdfs. Read the article to test veracity of the claims.
  • Fact Check: Are schools banned from charging tuition fees for summer vacations? A social media message has been doing the rounds that as per a High Court order (the message does not specify which High Court), private schools cannot charge any fee for the summer vacation months. These could be any months between April to July when the school is closed. The petition number mentioned is CP No. 5812 of 2015 and the decision of the order as per is 5th March, 2018. Read the article to find out the truth.
  • Fact Check: Is the viral circular stating that the Govt will pay 24% Employees’ Provident Fund for next 3 months true? An official looking circular has become viral on social media which states that the government has announced a package to employers under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, wherein the the government will contribute 24% of the employee and employer provident fund share per month for three months to PF accounts of employees earning less than Rs 15,000 to tide over the impact of Covid-19 on small establishments having less than 100 employees. The circular was signed by the regional PF Commissioner of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Find out the truth by reading the article.
  • Fact Check: Has the Government of Jammu & Kashmir passed any order to restore 4G services? An official looking order has been doing the rounds on social media that the Home Department of Jammu & Kashmir has ordered restoration of 4G services. The order dated 27.07.20 is purported to be signed by Shaleen Kabra who is the Principal Secretary to the Government (Home) in J&K. The order states that as schools are closed down due to the COVID situation, access to online classes is a bit hard due to 2G speed. The Secretary being apprised of the situation has ordered restoration of 4G internet. Read the fact check.
  • Fact Check: Has the Supreme Court issued any directions to make paying of rent mandatory during lockdown? A viral Whatsapp message has been doing the rounds that payment of rent cannot be refused during the lockdown. The message includes a news link of Deccan Herald which is about a Court’s order on a plea to waive off rent of lawyers’ chambers as they are unable to earn money due to the Courts being shut. An inference has been drawn that refusal to waive rent of lawyers’ chambers applies to all properties whether residential, industrial or commercial and that no tenant can refuse to pay rent. Read the article to find out the truth.
  • Fact Check: Has any resolution been passed by SCBA to not give farewell to Justice Mishra? Screenshots of a tweet by a journalist has been doing the rounds on social media that the Supreme Court Bar Association headed by president Dushyant Dave has passed a resolution not to give farewell to Arun Mishra, J. when he retires on September 2. Along with the screenshot of the tweet, a pdf titled ‘Proposed Resolution of SCBA’ is also circulating. The pdf states that the executive committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association has resolved not to hold any farewell for Justice Mishra upon his retirement. Read the fact check to check the veracity of the statement.
  • Fact Check: Did the Supreme Court pass any order staying MHA Order directing private companies to make full payments to their employees? Many news websites published a news story yesterday that the Supreme Court has stayed a Ministry of Home Affairs order dated March 29, 2020 directing industries, shops and commercial establishments to pay full salary/wages to all its staff, workers, contract workers, casual workers during the period of lockdown. Read the fact-check to find out if the news is authentic.
  • Fact-check: Has the government banned free discussion on COVID 19 on social media?  A social media message was doing the rounds in April which read as follows: “Mandate To All. Tonight 12 (midnight) onwards Disaster Management Act has been implemented across the country. According to this update, apart from the Govt department no other citizen is allowed to post any update or share any forward related to Coronavirus and it being a punishable offence. Group Admins are requested to post the above update and inform the groups.” This message led many Whatsapp admins and other social media group admins to ban members from posting any news or information about COVID-19, even information that can be categorised as helpful or authentic. Read the article to find out the veracity of these claims.
  • Fact Check: Has the Madras High Court issued any order to waive rent from April to June? In a Whatsapp forward circulating alongwith screenshots of a newspaper article, social media in Tamil Nadu is abuzz with the news that Madras High Court has ordered landlords not to collect rent for the months of April, May and June. Read the article to test veracity of the news.
  • Fact Check: Has the DIG of Indore issued any advisory to the police to uninstall Chinese apps? A screenshot of an advisory issued by Indore DIG has been doing the rounds on social media. The order in the screenshot advises all police personnel of Indore to uninstall 52 Chinese apps on their phone from Google Play Store and Apple IOS. The order states that as per information from the Ministry of Home Affairs, there is a threat that the user’s personal and other information could be stolen by installing and using such apps. Read the article to find out the truth.

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