Lockdown: UP Police file 15,378 FIRs against 48,503 people, 848 FIRs in South Delhi alone
Within 20 days, police across the nation have filed thousands of FIRs against people for violating lockdown under section 188 of the IPC; former DGP has moved SC saying the same violates the law
At a time when the nation is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, it has come to fore that the Uttar Pradesh police have filed 15,378 FIRs against 48,503 people for violating the lockdown under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) between March 24 to April 14.
Similarly, in South Delhi alone, 848 FIRs were filed in 50 police stations during the same period.
However, as per retired IPS officer and former DGP, UP, Vikram Singh who has filed a petition in Supreme Court on April 16, demanding quashing of such FIRs, “It is illegal to file an FIR under section 188 of the IPC”.
Talking to National Herald over the phone, Singh said that he has moved the SC to issue a direction in this matter.
Stating that according to various judicial precedents and section 195 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure, no FIR can be registered under section 188 of IPC, Singh in his petition has pleaded in the apex court to issue an advisory to all states for not filing FIRs under Section 188 of the IPC.
Referring to the data issued by the UP police, Singh in his petition has mentioned that UP Police has filed 15,378 FIRs against 48,503 people under section 188 of the IPC during the first phase of the lockdown.
It may be recalled that PM Narendra Modi, on March 24, announced a nationwide lockdown that was effective till April 14. This was then extended till May 3.
As per guidelines issued by the MHA, following the announcement of the lockdown, violation of the lockdown attracts an FIR under Section 188 of the IPC.
Calling the filing of the FIRs as “an attack on people’s rights”, Rihai Manch – a political front comprising lawyers and activist that was founded with the purpose to fight for the release of innocent prisoners, said that FIRs against people under Section 188 of IPC is a violation of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution.
While Article 14 of the Constitution states that the state/country shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws, Article 21 says, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”
Rajeev Yadav, general secretary of Rihai Manch, told NH that filing of the FIRs in such a large number, without application of mind by the police, is a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Supreme Court. “It has increased the burden on the system also,” he added.
"The government should clarify whether they are fighting against the Coronavirus or the people of India," Yadav said in a telephonic conversation.