Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Rannvijay Singh, yesterday (March 20, 2020) to curb outbreak of Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) in Noida.
School, college, chemist shops, general stores, fruit and vegetable shops are permitted to operate. Each of the area's main markets will remain closed until April 2, 2020.
Till the time of writing of this article, India has 271 confirmed cases and 4 deaths caused due to COVID-19.
As per World Health Organization (WHO) report, in 176 countries 2,34,073 confirmed cases have been reported and 9, 840 deaths have been caused due to COVID-19. China is the highest country and Italy is the second highest where such cases have been reported.
What is Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC)?
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) authorises the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such 'unlawful assembly' can be booked for engaging in rioting.
Section 144 is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property. Section 144 of CrPC generally prohibits public gathering.
Section 144 has been used in the past to impose restrictions as a means to prevent protests that can lead to unrest or riots. The orders to impose Section 144 have been conferred to Executive Magistrate when there is an emergency situation.
Author – Satwik Sharma