FIR against man who ventured out during lockdown quashed

Bringing relief to a Madurai man, booked for venturing out of his house during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court quashed the FIR registered against him taking into account the fact that it was an unintended casual act.

The court was hearing the petition filed by V. Karthikraja. He was booked under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and Section 269 (Negligent Act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code. He sought to quash the FIR registered against him. The police had booked him after he was outside riding his two -heeler when the prohibitory order under Section 144 of CrPC was in force during COVID-19 lockdown.

Justice G. Ilangovan observed that Section 188 of IPC would not stand against the petitioner as the police cannot file the case and investigate the same without getting proper permission from the jurisdictional Magistrate concerned. A detailed guideline had already been issued by the court, the judge said. With regard to the offence under Section 269 of IPC, the petitioner was simply riding his two-wheeler. It was a trivial matter in which no offence of grievous nature was involved.

Even though the prohibitory order under Section 144 of CrPC was in force, the police should have warned the petitioner to go indoors. Instead they filed a case. At the time of the incident, the petitioner was not affected by COVID-19.

Therefore, the contention that he would spread COVID-19 was without basis, the judge said. The court took into account the fact that he had also applied for a passport and wanted to go abroad for his livelihood.

The court observed that riding the two-wheeler without any reason should not be a reason to spoil the future of the petitioner. An unintended casual act should not take away the prospects of the petitioner.

Moreover, the court was informed that the government was going to drop all these cases that were registered against the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the judge said. The judge took note of the submission and quashed the FIR registered against the petitioner.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 9:09:53 PM |

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