Section 144 is a ruling that prohibits public gatherings in a given jurisdiction.This constitutional provision empowers the district or any executive magistrate in a state or union territory to impose the said law during anticipated emergencies.Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is issued in urgent cases of security threat or riot and bars the assembly of five or more people in an area where it has been imposed. The notification is issued by the District Magistrate of the area.
What is Section 144?
Enacted in 1973, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowers the magistrate of any union territory or state in India to pass an order which prohibits the gathering of 4 or more than 4 people in a particular area. Section 144 also places restrictions on transporting any kind of weapon.
Section 144 crpc also empowers the authorities to curb internet access in the particular region.
The ultimate purpose of Section 144 is to maintain peace and order in those areas where the existing trouble can disrupt the regular life.
Provisions under Section 144
•Section 144 restricts the public gathering in a given jurisdiction. This constitutional provision grants the powers to the district or an executive magistrate in a state or union territory to impose this law during anticipated emergencies. In case of any violation in this regard, people can be detained upto three years.
•As per the order issued under this section, the movement of the public is restricted. All the educational institutions in the given area remain closed. Holding any public meeting or conducting rallies in the area are also banned during the period when section 144 is in force.
•Areas where Section 144 is applied, it is deemed as a punishable offence to obstruct law enforcement agencies from disbanding an unlawful assembly. In case of any immediate action, Sec 144 also allows the authorities to curb internet access in the region.
Scope of Section 144 IPC
Under section 144 IPC, the restriction could be imposed in a specific locality or in the entire town.
Section 144 IPC restricts movement, carrying arms, lathis, sharp – edged metallic objects or firearms in public places.
The magistrate can direct any person to refrain from a certain act or take a certain order with respect to certain property under his management.
There is a complete bar on organizing any kind of rallies or public meetings during the period of Section 144 IPC.
Spreading rumors and blocking roads are strictly not allowed.
When is Section 144 imposed?
Section 144 CrPC is imposed when there is a threat or damage to the human life or property. Sec 144 ensures maintenance of peace and tranquility in an area. In the past, section 144 has been used to impose restrictions that can lead to unrest.
Duration of Section 144 order
According to the rules mentioned under the implementation of Section 144 in a given jurisdiction, no order can be stretched for a period of more than 2 months. Under the state government’s discretion, the validity can be extended for two more months with the maximum validity extendable to six months. Once the situation gets normal, Section 144 levied can be withdrawn.