Order of Metropolitan Magistrate holding Delhi Police orders under S. 144 – invalid
On the 25th of April 2018, a court of Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House, Delhi, discharged all the volunteers of the Indian Against Corruption movement who were chargesheeted for protesting outside the Prime Ministers House in 2012.
In a reasoned order that strikes at the root of the problem with the recurrent Delhi Police orders under S. 144 that impose a blanket and unreasonable ban on a citizens rights to protest, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, observed that the order of the Delhi Police imposing S. 144 did not record any valid reason for the imposition of the order. Besides this the police did not comply with the Standing Orders for the imposition of S. 144. The order thus states:
“But since the assembly, in this case, was not an unlawful assembly and has not committed any offence, I have no doubt in my mind to opt for upholding the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 19 of the Constitution and finding that neither the prohibition of S. 144 Cr. P.C. was valid or validly communicated.Since the prohibition of section 144 was not valid therefore the accused of this case cannot be said to commit any offence under section 188 IPC and for that matter cannot be said to commit all other connected offences with which they are charged.”
Read the order below: