What is Section 144

What is Section 144? Meaning of Section 144 CrPC

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In this article, we will be discussing the meaning and importance of Section 144. India is known to other countries for its unity. The people in India live in unity and harmony. Festival, cultural and family functions are so popular in India. Assemble in places, the gathering is so common in India. But sometimes, this gathering, assemble is become a risk for people. So, as per the law assemble, gathering or some event that can cause trouble or damage to human life or property should be restricted.

Section Section 144 CrPC:-

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was legislated in 1973. It empowers an executive magistrate in any state or territory of India to grant an injunction to deter the people to assemble at one place or organize any event or program where four or more peoples gathering can be expected.

As per the injunction under this section, there shall be zero public activity and all the educational institutions are stay closed and there will be a complete bar on holding any type of public gatherings or meetings during the duration of operation of this order. Section 144 of CrPC is authorized to shutting down Internet access in the province.

The orders to assess Section 144 have been granted to the Executive Magistrate at the time of emergency. This section has been used in the past to impose limitations to deter riots.[1]

It also prohibits carrying any kind of weapon in that area where the injunction is imposed and people who can violate it should be arrested. 

The purpose of this section is to protect peace and order within the country and the protections of public health. Moreover, Section 144 of the CrPC does not permit executing some events that are performed at regular times.

What is unauthorized under Section 144 of CrPC?

Section 144 of CrPC strictly restricted all the gathering of five people and more. At this time, offices, factories, godowns and other commercial organizations had remained closed. Private vehicles were restricted since borders across the state were shut besides that public transport encompassing state transport buses, metro also stayed shut. Though, ATMs, internet, Telecom, cable services, electricity, water and municipal services were remained available.

Penalty on violation of Section 144 of CrPC:-

Disobedience of injunctions granted by a legally empowered public servant under this section.[2]

Punishment: Section 144 of CrPC empower by Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and infringement of this order shall be punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code which is simple detention for a period that may extend to 1 month or with a fine or with both. 

In case of disobedience which induces danger to human life, health and safety or inclines to cause riots or affrays the punishment is detention for six months or with fine or with both.

Period of Section 144 injunction:-

No injunction under Section 144 of CrPC shall stay for more than months but the state governments can expand the validity of the injunction for 2 months to 6 months. It can be abolished at any point in period if the circumstance becomes natural.

Is Section 144 of CrPC and curfew the same?

It restricts the gathering of four or more people in the concerned sector, while during the curfew people are advised to stay indoors for a specific time. The government imposes a complete limitation on traffic. Markets, educational institutions and offices stay shut under the curfew and only necessary services are permitted to run on prior observation. 

Judgements on Section 144 of CrPC:-

Over the years, the Indian judiciary has witnessed several cases on Section 144 of CrPC. Some of them are given below-

  • In the case of Babulal Parate V. State of Maharashtra [1961 AIR 884, 1961 SCR (3) 423], the apex court stated that the power granted by Section 144 is exercisable not only where danger contains but is exercisable also when there exists an apprehension of danger. The district magistrate must be convinced that immediate deterrence of the acts is necessary to equalize danger to public safety.[3] 
  • In  Madhu Limaye and Anr V. Ved Murti and Ors. ((1970) 3 SCC 746), the Supreme Court held that if the prosecution sought by the empowered authorities is too general in its extent, legal remedies of judicial review should contend.[4]


Section 144 of CrPC has imposed in many states of India. Recently, in view of increasing cases of covid-19 many states of India imposed this section to prevent public gathering. The government has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC for maximize public safety and underrate the danger of covid-19.

Though, any limitations imposed by the injunction given under this section that generates an interim bar on the public’s Fundamental Rights should not be ineffective or unconstitutional since those limitations are indicated to deter an anticipated public disorder exclusively for the public interest.

By Shreeparna Goswami

3rd year of Shyambazar Law College.

[1] What is Section 144 | Section 144 Curfew Breaking News | Section 144 Rules,  https://www.business-standard.com/about/what-is-section-144.

[2] Know All about Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (with recent special words) | TaxGuru, https://taxguru.in/corporate-law/section-144-criminal-procedure-code.html.

[3] Babulal Parate vs State Of Maharashtra And Others on 12 January, 1961, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/749305/.

[4] Madhu Limaye & Anr vs Ved Murti & Ors on 28 October, 1970, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/905654/.

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