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Lockdown implemented in India

Written by
Kochhar & Co., one of India's leading and largest full-service law firms.
In an attempt to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is contained effectively, the Indian Government has implemented a complete nationwide lockdown for 21 days beginning at midnight on 25 March.  

Mandatory closure of commercial businesses

All shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops and offices, excluding establishments engaged in providing essential services must be shut down.

The following have been specified as providing essential services:

  • providing food, groceries, fruits & vegetables, meat & fish, animal fodder;
  • providing banking or insurance services and ATMs;
  • providing telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services, IT and IT enabled services only (for essential services);
  • providing delivery of essential goods, including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment;
  • hospitals, medical centres, medical stores;
  • electricity, petroleum, oil, energy;
  • print and electronic media;
  • providing cold storage and warehousing services;
  • capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India; and
  • private security services.


All other establishments are required to have their employees work from home.

While the order does not specify anything related to salary payments to employees during this period, we believe that the State Governments are likely to issue orders stating that employers would be required to pay employees’ full salary during this period.

Industrial establishments

All industrial establishments are required to be closed, except for units manufacturing essential commodities or production units that require continuous processes. These businesses must obtain permission from the state government to continue operating.

Consequences of contravention

Any violation will be an offence under s51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Depending on the gravity of the offence committed, they would be punishable with imprisonment for a period up to two years or a fine or both. Additionally, the authorities could instigate legal action under s188 of the Indian Penal Code1860, which is punishable with imprisonment for a period up to six months or fine or both.

Additionally, all inter-state travel by any mode (air, roadways and railways) has been suspended until further notice. In major cities, subway, metro and local train services have also been suspended till such date.

Vijay Ravi
Vijay Ravi
Senior Partner - India
Kochhar & Co.