What Is Section 144? What Are Its Implications?

Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. The elephant in the room! Now normally, no one likes to talk about the elephant in the room, but surprisingly everyone seems to be talking about this elephant, and so much so, that the air is laden with chaos!

CAB 2019 is facing bashing all over, but, at the same time, getting the same amount of support as well. 

CAB 2019
Via: Troopel

Science says, for an object to move in a certain direction, the force applied on it has to be unbalanced. Now that the force applied on the object from both sides cancel out each other, the object isn’t moving in either direction. It is stuck in one place!

Science Balanced Force

Got my point? 

People have resorted to violence over CAB 2019, vandalizing public properties, burning vehicles, attacking police and whatnot! 

CAB 2019
Via: Free Press Journal

And then they have the audacity to come out and blame the police for attacking their ‘peaceful protest’!

How do you even expect the police to not do their work when you’re breaking all the rules?

Pelting stones, burning buses, vandalizing public properties, is this your idea of a peaceful protest? If yes, then you should probably go back to school to learn what ‘peaceful’ means!

Citizenship Amendment Bill
Via: India Today

The sad part about all this is, the ‘liberals’ out there are instigating violence and even worse, widening the gap between Hindu-Muslim, striking at the right moment!

These ‘liberals’ are ‘separatists’ only, masquerading as ‘liberals’ and it seems they’re getting away with their nefarious intentions! 

The atmosphere is quite sensitive to riots in these times, owing to which Section 144 has been imposed all over Uttar Pradesh.

section 144 imposed in UP
Via: Moneycontrol

Now, before understanding the implications of this, it’s important to know what does Section 144 embed.

What Is Section 144?

Section 144 doesn’t come under IPC (Indian Penal Code). It functions under CrPc (Criminal Procedure Code).

What’s the difference? 

CrPc lays down the procedure to be followed, in case of an offence been committed, whereas IPC is substantive law which governs the way members of a civilised society are expected to behave.

Coming back to Section 144. According to law, if Section 144 is imposed, then a group of more than 5 people cannot gather at a public place. If they did so, police have the sole right to detain them. Also, none can stroll around in public places wielding lathis, guns, swords or any such weapon. Even if the weapon is licensed.

Section 144 implications
Via: YouTube

A crowd has no face, and a faceless crowd can cause heavy damage and get away with it, so they devised a full-proof method to counter this!                

They might stop a crowd to gather, can they stop the voices?

They might as well make a law of imposing detention on 4-5 people speaking together. Wonderful idea, that way even the voices would succumb!          

Isn’t it what they want?

Who Can Impose Section 144?

The DM of the city has the right to impose Section 144 in sensitive conditions. So that the cops do not have a hard time maintaining peace.

Apart from stop people gathering, the administration can also restrict internet services in the area under Section 144.

Basically, the same thing that went down first in Kashmir and now in North-East and West Bengal. 

Section 144 imposed in Assam
Via: DNA India

Smart move, right? No internet, no connection from the outside world and so no one gets to know what went down there.

It’s like a criminal removing his impressions before committing a crime, or insulating the crime scene so that no one gets to know a crime took place there!

What Is The Time Duration Section 144 Can Be Imposed For?

There are two scenarios for this. In the first scenario, it can be imposed for a maximum of two months. If the DM orders, it can be removed before two months.

In the second scenario, if the conditions are as it is, even after two months, the Central Government can extend it. But only for 6 months, not more than that.

In What Conditions Can Section 144 Be Violated?

One noteworthy thing is when Section 144 is imposed, the District Administration is responsible for anything and everything.       

Section 144
Via: Sentinel Assam

It can be violated only if you have DM’s permission in special circumstances.

What Are The Implications Of Violating Section 144?

Violating Section 144 is a bailable offence. You can be detained under CrPc 107 and IPC 151 and face a 1-year jail term. If more than 5 people are found violating this, police can detain them under IPC 151 and they can face 6-year jail term and/or a hefty fine.

You can get bail under both the sections.

Is Section 144 Same As Curfew?

No. There’s a lot of differences between the two. In curfew, you can not even step out of the house. It’s like a solemn house arrest for the whole area.

curfew
Via: Al Jazeera

Whereas under Section 144, you’re allowed to go about your daily routine, go to work, hang out at public places unless you’re not doing it a group of more than 5.

Under curfew, shops, schools, markets everything is shut down and people are allowed to come out of their houses only for a fixed interval of time, as decided by the administration.

Curfew Scenes
Via: DNA India

We cannot ignore the fact that imposing Section 144 somewhere or the other minimise the risks of riots and violent protests.

But in a country of 130 Crore people, one-fourth of whom live on the streets, is it sufficient? Or the proper way to stop clashes? 

Penny for your thoughts!

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Siddharth Kekre
A passionate content creator by profession, automobile enthusiast by passion and coffee lover by choice.

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