K’taka HC holds imposition of Sec 144 in Bengaluru as illegal

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court held that the imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) during December 19-21, last year by the order of the Police Commissioner, as ‘illegal’.

The bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar held on Thursday “that the order of Bangalore Police Commissioner Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS, imposing Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code across Bangalore during 19-21 December 2019, illegal, as it does not satisfy the test of judicial scrutiny demanded of such orders.”

The court issued the order in response to a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed in this matter by various persons including, Prof. M. V. Rajeev Gowda, MP (Rajya Sabha), Soumya Reddy, MLA among others.

“These PIL’s were filed challenging the order of the Police Commissioner, Bengaluru on various grounds including that the order suffered from non-application of mind and arbitrarily restricted the freedom of speech and expression of the petitioners as guaranteed in the Constitution of India,” according to a note issued by the petitioners.

Section 144 had been imposed to maintain law and order in the wake of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The CAA seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

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