Any new phenomenon inevitably ends up in the surfacing of recent phrases or the refurbishing of previous ones, enlarging the lively vocabulary of many. Till the tsunami wreaked havoc in India in 2004, few other people had heard of the phrase tsunami. The coronavirus pandemic is not any other. Words like ‘social distancing’ and ‘lockdown’ and ‘flattening the curve’ have now turn out to be not unusual due to the illness which has proved to be a larger killer with a much wider achieve than tsunami.

Curfew and 144 curfew are phrases that began surfacing in lots of conversations, on-line or another way, quickly after the ‘janata curfew’ introduced through PM Narendra Modi. The 144, in fact, refers to Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. District Magistrates (District Collectors), Sub-divisional Magistrates and Executive Magistrates, specifically empowered through the State executive, can cross those prohibitory orders. In puts the place the Police Commissionerate device is in trend, the Commissioner of Police workout routines this energy as an Executive Magistrate ‘specially empowered’.

An order underneath Section 144 is also directed to a selected particular person, or to individuals dwelling in a selected position or house, or to the general public normally when frequenting or visiting a selected position or house. The order will also be handed through a Magistrate to stop obstruction, annoyance or harm to any individual lawfully hired or to stop threat to human existence, well being or protection, or a disturbance of the general public tranquillity, or a revolt, or an affray. So this is a completely legitimate software for imposing a lockdown, particularly with regards to what a person can and can’t do.

During standard instances, an order underneath this provision is normally handed when the management desires to ban rallies or assemblies or processions, if there may be a fear of breach of the peace. Under such cases, the order specifies that meeting of 5 or extra individuals is illegitimate.

Unfortunately, the similar form of order has been handed in lots of puts, all over the lockdown, even if the intent is to ban greater than mere meeting of individuals. As the phrase curfew is bandied about, the general public or even some law enforcement officials tended to suppose that each and every order underneath 144 CrPC is a curfew order. The difference between a real curfew prohibiting motion in public and a regimen order prohibiting meeting of a gaggle of individuals will get blurred. This is particularly true of Tamil Nadu which has now not had instance to impose a curfew apart from all over the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965.

There are video clippings of law enforcement officials expressing righteous ethical and prison indignation, asking the general public discovered at the roads whether or not they weren’t conscious that curfew was once in pressure. The orders handed through the District Magistrate or the Commissioner can have in fact prohibited simplest meeting of 5 or extra individuals in public. The not unusual guy does now not know this, however sadly, the officer looking for to put in force the regulation additionally does now not know this.

There also are video recordings of other people being manhandled or compelled to accomplish squats in public for being discovered at the highway, even for authentic causes. This is especially peculiar even if they don’t in fact violate the regulation in the case of any order handed.

In some cities, policemen gave a touch of paint to the entrance and rear of motor cycles discovered at the highway pronouncing {that a} car marked with a selected color can transfer simplest on sure days of the week. The intention was once to limit motion of automobiles at the highway. A significant initiative however no person wondered whether or not there was once any order to that impact, let by myself whether or not officers can arrogate powers to themselves to deface automobiles.

Of path, there are lots of who respect and applaud such toughness. These are the regulation abiding voters duly thinking about the specter of the illness being unfold, and they’re satisfied that we’re combating a large enemy referred to as coronavirus and mere technicalities and prison niceties will have to now not stand in the best way. But can a policeman take a stand like this?

An order handed underneath Section 144 will also be prohibitory in nature directing an individual to abstain from a definite act or it may be necessary in nature asking the individual ‘to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management’. The phrase ‘certain’ which happens in 3 puts would appear to depart quite a lot of discretion with the authority passing the order, as a result of what’s to be taken as ‘certain’ appears to be unsure within the absence of definition.

It has been laid down through the Supreme Court within the State of Bihar vs Ok Ok Misra case that ‘any restriction which is opposed to the fundamental principles of liberty and justice cannot be considered reasonable’. The elementary check of what can fall inside of ‘a certain act’ or ‘a certain order’ is dependent upon if it is in conformity with the basic ideas of liberty and justice.

It might be the case that the government are satisfied that individuals should be prohibited from doing sure issues to stop threat to existence or well being and protection. An order to that impact underneath Section 144 CrPC might be authentic falling inside the ambit of directing an individual to abstain from a definite act to stop threat to human existence, well being or protection. There is not any necessity to put in force a pretend order- akin to, say, an order prohibiting an meeting of individuals being handled as a curfew order. An easy order will also be handed, matter, in fact, to the need and matter to exemptions as is also specified.

While the character of an order underneath Section 144 CrPC promulgated for regulation and order functions and the mode of its enforcement is also right away challenged as violation of civil liberties, it’s not going that an order handed within the face of the killer illness would meet this kind of problem. Even if it occurs, the Courts, already working with limited sittings, might make a decision to take on it on the suitable time.

Still it is very important that there’s readability on what must be prohibited and the way the order is worded allowing for the requirement. The public will have to know what is illegitimate and law enforcement officials on the innovative stage will have to additionally are aware of it. An enchantment to stick at house will have to be heeded but if punitive motion is to be taken for violation it needs to be subsidized up through a suitable order.

The Broken Windows concept applies to the police too. When minor high-handedness like asking other people to do squats in public is omitted as innocuous workout achieved for a just right purpose, it’ll finally end up in primary infractions being dedicated, as with regards to the dying of 2 males who had been picked up through police in Tamil Nadu for allegedly maintaining a store open all over the lockdown hours.


Adherence to regulation should follow to all companies. There is a case of a person who was once fined Rs 100 through some nameless worker of every other executive company and given a broadcast slip which says “Penalty for Violation of lockdown” –“ Category of violation: Morning Walking”. One can simplest hope that this record within the social media is a hoax or that the cash was once accumulated through a conman pretending to be an worker – as a result of it could be anathema to the speculation of fine governance if certainly it was once a central authority company that was once gathering such fines with out specifying the Act, and the Section or the rule of thumb and with out incorporating the title and designation or identification of the person gathering the cash.

Giovanni Boccaccio has this to mention concerning the nice plague of 1348 in his novella ‘The Decameron’: “In this sore affliction and misery of our city, the reverend authority of the laws, both human and divine, was all in a manner dissolved and fallen into decay, for [lack of] the ministers and executors thereof, who, like other men, were all either dead or sick or else left so destitute of followers that they were unable to exercise any office, wherefore everyone had license to do whatsoever pleased him.”

Presently there is not any loss of “ministers and executors” and, due to this fact, there is not any explanation why for the reverend authority of the rules to fall into decay. The reverend authority of the rules will depend on the reverence accorded to it as a lot through enforcers of the regulation as through the voters. The idea of rule of regulation will have to now not fade even in instances of pandemic.

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