Over and above the nationwide lockdown, many states have imposed prohibitory orders under Section144 of the CrPC, which bars more than five people from gathering in a group
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise daily in India, various state governments are enforcing strict restrictions to curtail the spread.
On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days as a measure to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
A lockdown basically means that people need to stay indoors, but can go out to buy essential commodities. There are curbs on passenger travel by road as well as railways, and people can venture out only if they have state-issued self-declaration affidavits or curfew passes (for states which have invoked Section 144 of the CrPC ). Commercial establishments barring essential services have been asked to shut shop.
Over and above the nationwide lockdown, many states have imposed prohibitory orders under Section144 of the CrPC, which bars more than five people from gathering in a group. Violators can be arrested by the police.
Besides, some other states have imposed a curfew, where everyone is compelled to stay at home, and people cannot venture out without the permission of the police. It is stricter than imposing Section 144, in that people can go out of their house, but cannot move or gather in groups of four or more. Violation of curfew can lead to immediate detention by police.
In addition, many states have enforced partial or complete lockdown in various districts under their jurisdiction. They have shut state borders and have put restrictions on intra-state travel.
For instance, the Uttar Pradesh government on April 8 ordered the complete shutdown of COVID-19 hotspots in 15 districts across the state. According to a report in IndiaToday, no one in these districts will be allowed to step out and essential services will be delivered at home. Vegetable and fruit markets, where people tend to gather, will also be sealed.
A similar order was issued by Mumbai’s civic body – Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – on April 7. The body identified 241 containment zones in the financial capital of India, and disallowed vegetable and fruit vendors to enter these zones.
Some other states, including Kerala and Assam, have imposed a partial lockdown in several districts, which essentially requires all commercial establishments to shut down, except for those providing essential services. Places of mass gatherings such as malls, theatres, stadiums, etc. have been shut completely.
Violators of such orders can be arrested under Section 188 of the IPC, which empowers police to arrest those who defy an order promulgated by a public servant.