The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday, March 11, informed the Rajya Sabha that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC) had been imposed 276 times in Delhi in the last three years.
"As per the information available, there have been 276 instances of resorting to imposition of Section 144 in Delhi to prevent certain unlawful acts such as carrying of licensed arms, flying of drones/ paragliders, the prohibition of consumption of intoxicating substances at public places/ near liquor vends, restrictions for heavy vehicular traffic etc," junior Home Minister G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply to a question.
He, however, said that there has been no report of lathi-charge during the imposition of Section 144.
Delhi Police is directly controlled by the Union Home Ministry. In the past three years, section 144 was imposed during farmer marches, student protests, terror alerts, for festivals like Muharram and Vijayadashmi Gandhi Jayanti, and even on Gandhi Jayanti. Most recently the prohibitory orders were imposed in the wake of anti-Citizenship law protests at Shaheen Bagh.
Section 144 prohibits assembly of four or more people in an area. It is a colonial-era law that authorises a district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate or any other executive magistrate specially empowered by the state government to issue orders to prevent and address urgent cases of apprehended danger or nuisance.