Pune: Amid rising incidents of serious crimes, Pune police is busy with the 'most important task'! Issuing notices and filing chargesheet against common citizens who were found to be violating the 'orders duly promulgated by public servant' during the lockdown period. Citizens who took it 'casually' during the lockdown are now facing heat of legal action.
Pune Police has initiated the proceedings against 28,000 citizens of Pune city. Hundreds of citizens have been issued court notices and chargesheet filed against them so far and they have been asked to be present in the court for further hearing.
The 30 police stations under the jurisdiction of Pune Police commissionerate have been instructed to start filing chargesheet in these cases. Accordingly, every police station has started issuing notices and filed more than 50 such chargesheet against citizens in the respective court.
Police personnel are reaching out to the address provided by citizens when they were booked under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. The citizens are being asked to come to the police station and after collecting information from them chargesheet are being filed against them. These citizens are then asked to remain present in the court for further hearing and proceedings.
Large numbers of citizens were seen on the roads during the lockdown and curfew imposed in the city especially between April and June. Also, several citizens were found not using mask and maintaining social distancing during the unlock phase. Such citizens were booked under the section 188 of IPC and other relevant sections of Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act.
WHAT IS SECTION 188 OF IPC
Section 188, which comes under the Code’s Chapter X, ‘Of Contempts of the Lawful Authority of Public Servants’, reads: “Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. —
Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.