Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government;
1 . The use of Section 144 is the latest weapon used for political purposes against critics at the national and state levels, but it is hardly a new law having first been used during the colonial era against Indians. Critically discuss. (250 words)
Why this question:
As protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, continue to gain momentum, the government has resorted to the coercive step of imposing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in different cities across India. In Bengaluru, Section 144 has been imposed from December 19 to December 21.
Key demand of the question:
The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding about the RTI act. The recent proposed changes in the RTI act and how it could lead to subversion of the objectives of right to information.
Critically discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer:
Define the provision of Sec 144 CrPC. Provide the background of it being applied across various Indian cities.
- It gives the government the “power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger”.
- Administrations frequently cite powers under Section 144 CrPC to prohibit assemblies of five or more individuals, or to order mobile phone companies to block voice, SMS, or Internet communications in one or more small or large geographical areas.
Discuss the various powers available under this section and how it reminds of the colonial era laws to subjugate citizens.
Discuss how the Sec 144 is misused?
- Students of different universities are peacefully protesting and registering their dissent against CAA. The imposition of Section 144 in such a scenario is extremely arbitrary.
Discuss how it affects the fundamental rights of individuals. Provide substantiations using SC judgements
- In a recent judgement in Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan vs Union of India and Anr., the Supreme Court held that it [the order to impose Section 144] was not unconstitutional but the apex court recognised the right to protest and asked the government and police to frame guidelines
Provide measures against the misuse of it
Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.