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Section 144 CrPC

Date: 29 April 2022 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

Section 144 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 has been imposed in Uttarakhand’s Roorkee.

 

Background

The Supreme Court had ordered Uttarakhand government to ensure that no untoward incident occurred during a mahapanchayat.

 

Details

Previously, communally sensitive speeches have been made by religious leaders in Mahapanchayat.

 

Section 144

  • It is a colonial-era law that empowers a district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate, or any other executive magistrate to issue orders to prevent and address urgent cases of danger or nuisance.

  • The law may be directed against an individual, or individuals residing in a particular area, or to the public at large.

 

Powers under the law

  • It puts restrictions on movement, carrying arms, and unlawful assembly. Assembly of three or more people is prohibited.

  • The orders remain in force for two months, unless the state government thinks it necessary to extend it. In total, it cannot be in force for more than six months.

 

Criticism

  • The law gives magistrate sweeping power to carry out order. Revision application has to be filed against the same officer issuing orders.

  • The writ petition can be filed in High Courts but till the court intervenes, the fundamental right of the individual is already violated.

 

Opinion of courts

Courts have endorsed Section 144 under the “reasonable restrictions” to the fundamental rights laid down under Article 19(2) of the Constitution. 

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