Anyone who depicts India in a map that does not match the government’s officially approved version could be fined between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 100 crore and/or sent to seven years in prison, a new draft Bill by the Centre states. The draft Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, defines a defaulter as someone who “depicts, disseminates, publishes or distributes any wrong or false topographic information of India”. Importantly, this includes the plotting of India’s international borders, The Indian Express reported.

The draft Bill comes at a time when maps used on several social networking sites and Google have been criticised by Indian groups for showing conflict-ridden areas such as Kashmir as part of another country. The new legislation will also make it compulsory for companies or individuals, such as Google, to obtain a licence from the government before producing a map for public use.

The government will set up a panel to vet maps made using geospatial methods, which includes images taken from satellites, aircraft, hot air balloons or any other kind of aerial or space technology. The panel will comprise a chairperson at the rank of a joint secretary and two members – a technical expert and a security adviser.