Updated: May 20
Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) 1973, authorise 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 restriction as a means to prevent protests that can lead to unrest or riots.
Section 144 also restricts carrying any sort of weapons in that area where it has been imposed and people can be detained for violating it. The maximum punishment for such an act is three years.
According to the order under this section of 144 of crpc , there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed and there will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order.
Moreover, obstructing law enforcement agencies from dispersing an unlawful assembly is a punishable offence. Section 144 also empowers the authorities to block the internet services.
Section 144 bars the conduct of certain activities or action or events which are allowed to be done in regular course. It is imposed to ensure the maintenance the peace and tranquillity in the area.
Duration of section 144 order –
No order under section 144 shall remain in force for more than two months but the state government can extend the validity of up to six months.It can be withdrawn at any point of time if the situation becomes normal.