In a letter written by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla to states, administrations have been "requested to strictly implement lockdown measures."  He added that the violators of lockdown should be punished under IPC.

Ajay Bhalla said it has been noticed that some state governments and UT administrations are allowing exceptions beyond what has been allowed under lockdown measures by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), as contained in the issued consolidated guidelines. 

"This amounts to a violation of the lockdown measures issued by MHA under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and may defeat the overall objective of containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country," he stated.

The letter states, "The penal provisions under the DM Act and IPC should be widely circulated and for violation of lockdown measure, actions under provisions of DM Act and IPC shall be taken by law enforcement authorities".

The home secretary also said based on the orders issued by the National Disaster Management Authority under Section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, he, as chairperson of the National Executive Committee, issued an order on March 24 with directions to the ministries/ departments of government of India, Union Territories and State governments to take effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Subsequently, two addendum orders were also issued on March 25 and 27 giving exemptions to some essential goods and services during the lockdown.

The lockdown was announced on March 24 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.