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COVID-19 | Plea in SC seeks quashing of FIRs lodged under Section 188 of IPC during lockdown

Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with an offence of disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant./ File photo

Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with an offence of disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant./ File photo  

A former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking to quash FIRs filed against ordinary citizens for violating the COVID-19 lockdown.

Vikram Singh cited data collected by think-tank, Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change, of which he is chairman, which showed that 848 FIRs were filed between March 23 and April 13 under Section 188 of the IPC (disobedience of an order promulgated by a public servant) in 50 police stations in Delhi alone.

The petition cited the Uttar Pradesh government website to say that 15,378 FIRs were registered against 48,503 persons under Section 188 of the IPC.

Mr. Singh said this was when there were several judgments of the Supreme Court itself which hold that FIRs could not be registered under Section 188.

“Police action on an individual who is perhaps suffering from distress and lack of information as a result of the circumstances has ramifications which can extend beyond the coronavirus lockdown, and cannot be good for a constitutional democracy,” the petition said.

Mr. Singh said the police wield enormous powers during these times.

“Coronavirus has caused a global pandemic, in which every person is suffering. The situation needs to be handled humanely, and it will be best to avoid adding aspects of criminality, wherever possible,” the petition said.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 10:27:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-plea-in-sc-seeks-quashing-of-firs-lodged-under-section-188-of-ipc-during-lockdown/article31355405.ece

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