Saturday, April 20, 2024

IIM-A professors move High Court over frequent imposition of Section 144 in Ahmedabad

Five public figures, including two professors from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and one professor from Ahmedabad University have filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court yesterday, challenging the repeated imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that bars assembly of five or more persons.

The petition seeks the court’s intervention in quashing these orders to enable the “residents of Ahmedabad to exercise their right to freedom of expression, right to peaceful assembly and right to move freely under Article 19 (1) of the constitution”.

The petition highlighted that the administration have been issuing such orders for imposition of Section 144 in the entire city for several years now without providing any notice before or after the passing the same. The government cannot expect compliance from citizens if such orders are not notified to the public prior to their issuance, says the petition.

On December 16, 2019, many residents gathered outside the Indian Institute of Management to protest against the police violent assault in Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Professor Mathur from IIM-A and one of the petitioners were detained and roughed by the city police for participating in the protest. The police detained all the people gathered there even before the protest could take place.

The petition also contends that under Section 144 of CrPC, the power to issue such orders lie with the district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate or any other executive magistrate, specially empowered by the state government in this behalf, however, these orders are being passed by the Police Commissioner and therefore they are without jurisdiction and authority.

The petition was briefly heard in the court of justice Umesh Trivedi where the government prosecutor sought time to take instruction from the state government and argue. The matter will be taken up on January 9.



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