February 6, 2024

According to Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973, a colonial-era statute that was eventually preserved in the Code, a district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate, or an additional administrative magistrate approved by the state government can pass orders to prevent and treat urgent cases of perceived danger or nuisance.

The Executive Magistrate of any state or territory may issue an order under section 144 of crpc that forbids the assembly of four or more people in one location. Anyone involved in the “unlawful assembly” may face charges of rioting.

section 144 crpc explained

  • In circumstances where a harmful incident is anticipated, Section 144 is enforced. Despite its broad application, its primary purpose is to forbid the gathering of one or more people. If someone is found to have assembled illegally, they will be charged with rioting.
  • A sub-divisional magistrate, district magistrate, or any executive magistrate acting on behalf of the State Government may issue an order directed at a specific person or the public at large under Section 144.
  • Each individual involved in an illegal gathering may be held accountable for whatever crimes the group commits as a whole. Additional penalties will be meted out to anyone who prevents an officer from dispersing an unauthorized assembly as part of their official duties.

Section 144 CrPC: Features

  • It restricts the use or transportation of all weapons within the designated area.
  • The injunction under this provision states that all educational institutions must remain closed and that the public cannot move.
  • Furthermore, throughout the time that this order is in effect, no public gatherings or demonstrations of any type may be held.

Section 144 of CrPC: Duration

  • No order issued under this provision may be kept in effect for longer than two months.
  • The validity may be extended for an additional two months at the state government’s option, with a six-month maximum extension.
  • The imposition of Section 144 may be removed whenever things return to normal.

section 144 crpc punishment

  • Handling or transferring any form of weapon within the designated jurisdiction is prohibited by Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • Three years is the maximum sentence for such an act.
  • Obstructing law enforcement agents from disbanding an unlawful assembly is considered a punishable offense.

Some Important section 144 of crpc case laws

  • Manipur Violence Case: In order to stop the widespread violence in eight Manipur districts, where Section 144 CrPC has been enforced, the state had to impose a shoot-at-sight order. The desire for an ST status for Meiteis and the Manipur government’s drive to remove illegal immigrants from reserve forests inhabited in hilly areas led to a fight between the dominant Meiteis population and the tribals, resulting in the displacement of over 9,000 persons for their safety.
  • Uttarakhand Maha Panchayat Issue: Prohibition orders were enforced under Section 144 of the CrPC by the Haridwar district government of Uttarakhand in the vicinity of Roorkee. After the Supreme Court ordered the Uttarakhand government to guarantee that there would be no “untoward situation” or “unacceptable statements” during a maha panchayat that the village’s Hindu religious leaders had scheduled for April 27, 2022, Section 144 was put into place.
  • Anuradha Bhasin Case: In the present case, the Supreme Court decided that proportionality and need must be followed in any limits on internet access imposed under Section 144. The court determined that it is illegal to suspend internet service indefinitely. This ruling is noteworthy because it upheld the value of the fundamental rights to information access and freedom of speech and expression in the context of internet shutdowns, which are becoming more frequent in India.

section 144 of crpc: Criticisms

  • Lack of Accountability: Because decisions under Section 144 are made by executive or district magistrates without the necessity for a judicial review, there is a lack of responsibility in the exercise of power.
  • Unforeseen Implications: Section 144 orders may have unforeseen effects that include disrupting public transit, causing public inconvenience, and harming commercial operations.
  • Excessive Use of the Section: It is believed that Section 144 is applied too regularly and frequently when it is not necessary, such as at marches and non-violent protests.

One helpful tool for handling emergencies is Section 144. But because there is little oversight from the courts over the executive branch and broad executive powers are not narrowly tailored to specific goals, abuse and misuse are certain.

Prior to acting under this clause, the magistrate must conduct an investigation and document the urgency of the situation. The legislature’s plenary powers to address emergency crises must be balanced with the need to uphold the citizens’ fundamental rights, which include the right to personal liberty and other freedoms.

For any latest news, judiciary exams notifications, patterns, etc watch Jyoti Judiciary’s YouTube channel for legal videos for any updates at

Leave a Comment