Explained: What is Section 144 of CrPC?https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-is-section-144-crpc-jammu-and-kashmir-5878543/

Explained: What is Section 144 of CrPC?

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.

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Soldiers stand guard in the night in Srinagar, on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin)

The Jammu and Kashmir government imposed restrictions in Srinagar under Section 144 CrPC late Sunday night, shutting down mobile, broadband internet, and cable TV services. State leaders including Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Sajad Lone have also been placed under house arrest. This was followed by Home Minister Amit Shah announcing in Parliament that Article 370, which gave J&K special status and autonomy, has been scrapped following a gazetted order by the President.

According to an order issued by the government, “there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. All public movement has been curtailed and educational institutions will remain closed”.

The order has also banned holding any kind of public meeting or rally until the order is withdrawn. Here’s all you need to know why Section 144 of CrPC is put into place in an area and what all restrictions are imposed under it.

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What is Section 144 CrPC?

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. The section also empowers the authorities to block internet access.

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When is Section 144 CrPC imposed?

When there are apprehensions of breach of public peace and order by some people, Section 144 CrPC is put into effect. Under this section, all civilians are barred from carrying of weapons including lathis, sharp-edged weapons or firearms in public places except for police or paramilitary or security forces.

No order under this section can remain in force for more than two months. However, if the state government considers it necessary for preventing danger to human life or for preventing a riot, it can extend the impositions under the sections for not more than six months from the date of issuance of the initial order.

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What is the punishment if someone violates Section 144 CrPC?

Any person involved in such unlawful assembly can be booked for “engaging in rioting”. The maximum punishment for such act is three years. Anyone who obstructs the police from breaking the assembly or abets the assembly is also punishable under law.

What is the difference between prohibitory orders under Section 144 and curfew?

It must be noted that Section 144 CrPC is not equivalent to a curfew. Curfew orders are issued in more severe situations where people are instructed to stay indoors for a specific time or period. Establishments such as markets, schools, colleges, etc. are ordered to remain shut, and only essential services are allowed to run on prior notice. There is a complete restriction on traffic as well.