PIB's fact-checking unit counters fake news of 'new law allowing killing of potential rapists'

New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) In its initial days, the Press Information Bureau's fact-checking unit has shot down a claim doing rounds on WhatsApp that a new law has been passed allowing a potential rapist to be killed, terming it as 'fake news'.

In a bid to combat fake news, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) recently set up the fact-checking unit to verify news related to the government's ministries, departments and schemes.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Thursday had urged people to email snapshots of any 'dubious material' they come across on any platform, including social media, saying it will get it checked.

This is the third such case when the fact-checking unit has swung into action upon getting to know of a WhatsApp message circulating fake news.

'Claim: New law passed - 'Section 233 of Indian Penal Code', allowing a potential rapist to be killed.

'Reality: Section 233 deals with counterfeiting of currency. Sections 96 to 100 deal with right of private defence of body and property. Conclusion: Fake News,' the PIB said in a tweet, tagging the fake WhatsApp message.

The PIB had earlier also dismissed a fake letter circulating in PM's name and the wrong Nirbhaya helpline numbers for Mumbai.

'Received a forward that looks too good to be true!!! or maybe came across a piece of news that you want verified !! Send it across and we will Fact Check it for you, no questions asked,' the ministry had said on its official Twitter handle last week.

'Ever wondered if a WhatsApp forward is true or just fake news? Or if a tweet/ FB (Facebook) post is real? Fret no more!' it had said with the hashtag 'PIB Fact Check'. PTI ASK AAR