Ahead of the Supreme Court's verdict in the Ayodhya case, Section 144 has been imposed in several parts of the country. Section 144 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) prohibits the assembly of five or more people, holding meetings or carrying weapons. To get such a situation under control, Section 144 is imposed. You must have often heard of it as curfew, but what is the exact law? Ayodhya Verdict Live News Updates.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: This section of the law prohibits an assembly of five or more people in a particular area. If any person is found engaging in such an ‘unlawful assembly’ then they could be charged for rioting. The maximum punishment for such an act could go up to 3 years of imprisonment. It is even a punishable offence if somebody obstructs the police from preventing such an assembly. Ayodhya Verdict Today: PM Modi Calls For Harmony, Says Judgment Will be 'No One's Victory or Loss'.
The first time this section was imposed was in 1861 during the British Raj, it proved a good measure to prevent protests. So, all the nationalist protests during the Indian Independence Movement could be controlled by Section 144.
Is Section 144 and Curfew the Same?
A curfew is when a law orders people to stay indoors for a specific period of time. It prohibits any person to move out without approval from authorities. Curfew is imposed for only a specific amount of time and in a particular area. The educational institutions, markets and shops remain shut and very selected services are allowed to function.
Section 144 bars mob gatherings but it does not control it all. A curfew is a larger action taken to control the grave situation. In a curfew, you need permissions to move about. The element of time is very important in these restrictory orders.
So an imposition of Section 144 and curfew is not the same, though at many times people use the terms interchangeably.