The Delhi high court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi police on a plea challenging the imposition of restrictions for up to six months on the gathering of people at and around India Gate during the anti-rape protests.
“How can a special executive magistrate extend the period to impose section 144 of the CrPC (which prohibits an assembly of more than five people in an area) when the power lies only with the state government,” asked a bench comprising chief justice D Murugesan and justice VK Jain.
“Whether this section can be imposed without applying the mind, we have to look into that,” said the court. It told the police “to explain as to how a special executive magistrate can be vested with the power to impose prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC for up to six months despite the same being contrary to the fundamental rights of citizens”. Directing them to reply within two weeks, it posted the matter for February 6.