What is Section 144?

  • Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or danger of some event that can cause riots, violence or unrest in any area or city.
  • It authorises the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit meeting of four or more people in an area.
  • No order under Section 144 shall remain in force for more than two months but the state government can extent the validity maximum up to six months. It can be withdrawn at any point of time if situation normalizes.
  • The government has imposed Section 144 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir after Indian Army had said that Pakistani terrorists were plotting to carry out an attack on the Amarnath Yatra.
  • According to the order under this section, there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall remain closed and there will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies.
  • Section 144 also restricts carrying any sort of weapon in that area where it has been imposed and people can be detained for violating it. The maximum punishment for such an act is three years.

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