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SECTION 271 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Disobedience to quarantine rule


Last Updated: 01 May, 2024
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


Table of Contents
  1. IPC 271 in Simple Words
  2. Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code
  3. What is Quarantine Rule?
  4. What is Disobedience to Quarantine rule under Section 271?
  5. What actions can be taken against someone who disobeys Quarantine Rule?
  6. IPC Section 271 related FAQs
Whoever knowingly disobeys any rule made and promulgated by the Government for putting any vessel into a state of quarantine, or for regulating the intercourse of vessels in a state of quarantine with the shore or with other vessels, for regulating the intercourse between places where an infectious disease prevails and other places, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.



IPC 271 in Simple Words

According to section 271 of the Indian Penal Code, if anyone knowingly disobeys any government rule related to quarantining vessels or regulating the interaction between places with infectious diseases, they can be punished with imprisonment for up to six months, or with a fine, or both.


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Offence : Knowingly disobeying any quarantine rule


Punishment : 6 Months or Fine or Both


Cognizance : Non-Cognizable


Bail : Bailable


Triable : Any Magistrate




Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code

What happens if the government has imposed a quarantine rule? Can venturing out during a quarantine get you into trouble? Can there be penal consequences if you disobey the quarantine rule?

Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code is one such provision that requires obedience of quarantine orders imposed by the government and prescribes punishment for disobedience of the same during times when a deadly disease has taken its toll on the people.
 


What is Quarantine Rule?

Quarantine refers to strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease. Governments use quarantines to stop the spread of contagious diseases. Quarantines are for people or groups who don’t have symptoms but were exposed to the sickness. A quarantine keeps them away from others so they don’t unknowingly infect anyone.

Quarantines may be used during:

  • Outbreaks: When there’s a sudden rise in the number of cases of a disease.

  • Epidemics: Similar to outbreaks, but generally considered larger and more widespread.

  • Pandemics: Larger than epidemics, generally global in nature and affect more people.
     


What is Disobedience to Quarantine rule under Section 271?

Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code states as follows:

“Whoever knowingly disobeys any rule made and promulgated by the Government for putting any vessel into a state of quarantine, or for regulating the intercourse of vessels in a state of quarantine with the shore or with other vessels, for regulating the intercourse between places where an infectious disease prevails and other places, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.”

It means that if anybody who knowingly disobeys any rule made with the object of isolating places where an infectious disease prevails from other places, then the person will be guilty under the provision. The section requires disobedience with knowledge of a rule made and promulgated by the government. The rule must be either for putting any vessel in a state of quarantine, or for regulating intercourse between quarantined vessels and shore or quarantined vessels and others vessels, or for regulating intercourse between places where an infectious disease prevails and other places.
 


What actions can be taken against someone who disobeys Quarantine Rule?

Any person who disobeys a quarantine rule as mentioned under Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code can be charged with simple or rigorous imprisonment extendable up to 6 months or fine or both.
 
While the offences under Section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread disease dangerous to life) are cognisable and bailable, offence under Section 271 is non-cognisable and bailable. Cognisable offence means an offence in which a police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court. By contrast, in the case of a non-cognisable offence, a police officer does not have the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and an investigation cannot be initiated without a court order. The police can file a First Information Report (FIR) only for cognizable offences. In Cognizable cases police can make investigation without prior permission of Magistrate.

Anyone who knowingly violates any rule promulgated by the Government (i.e., the 1 [***], 3 [***]) for the purpose of putting a vessel in quarantine or for the regulation of the interaction of vessels with shore or other vessels or the regulation of the movement of vessels between places where an infectious disease is present, will be liable for the following:





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