Zee New editor in chief Sudhir Chaudhary faced criticism on Monday night and Tuesday morning after 28 employees from Zee News tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Although, Chaudhary insists that those infected did not come to work while they were infected, even stressing that one person had been ‘away from work since Monday after he tested positive on Friday.’ “All his contacts were tested and immediately qurarantined,” Chaudhary said on Twitter, slamming the critics for their ‘malicious campaign going on to distort his words and target Zee News.’
“Team @ZeeNews is on the frontline, while social media stone pelters spread rumours. Those who are infected had the option of sitting at home & sharing memes.They came to work because they’re committed professionals. If you can’t show them respect, don’t expose your spiteful selves! (sic)” he tweeted.
This tweet has not gone down well with Twitterati, who feel that Chaudhary is endangering the lives of his staff members.
Journalist Arvind Gunasekhar said, "If the infected persons had come to work then it’s a violation of guidelines issued under Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Diseases Act and also Sec 269 and 188 of IPC (sic)."
Section 269 of the IPC says, "Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.—Whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both."
Meanwhile, Section 188 of the IPC states, "Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.—Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any person lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. Explanation.—It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm. Illustration An order is promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, directing that a religious procession shall not pass down a certain street. A knowingly disobeys the order, and thereby causes danger of riot. A has committed the offence defined in this section."
This is how Twitter responded to Chaudhary