An FIR was registered against Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath on Sunday for allegedly creating panic over the coronavirus pandemic through his remarks, a police official said. The case against him was registered based on a complaint lodged by Bhopal BJP district president Sumeet Pachouri and two BJP MLAs- Vishwas Sarang and Rameshwar Sharma-, among others, he said. Nath, a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, was charged under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the IPC and section 54 (making or circulating a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic) of National Disaster Management Act 2005, the official said.
The FIR was registered at the Crime Branch police station, Bhopal, he said. About the basis on which the case against Nath was filed, Bhopal Headquarter Superintendent of Police, Ramji Shrivastav, said the action was taken based on the complaint and two videos provided by the complainants in a pen drive.
Investigation into the case is going on, he said, without giving any further details. In the complaint, the BJP leaders alleged that Nath had said in his press conference at Ujjain on Saturday that, Coronavirus, which has spread in the world, is being known as the Indian variant of the virus. Kamal Nath’s statement at this moment of crisis is creating confusion and defaming the country internationally, the complaint said. It added that Nath has disobeyed the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to stem COVID-19 and his act amounts to sedition according to IPC.
Besides, the complaint also said Nath’s “false allegations” that the government was hiding the real number of deaths occurred due to coronavirus amount to creating fear and falls under the category of criminal offence.