Coronavirus: Supreme Court rejects plea to quash cases against lockdown violators


New Delhi, May 5: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by a former Director-General of Police of Uttar Pradesh to quash FIRs registered against ordinary citizens for violating the COVID-19 lockdown.

“There cannot be a super government. Everyone is going through difficult times,” a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan remarked orally while rejecting the plea, The Hindu reported.

Vikram Singh, the former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, had cited data collected by a think-tank Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) — of which he is the chairman — to show that 848 FIRs were filed between March 23 and April 13 under Section 188 of the IPC (disobedience of an order promulgated by a public servant) in 50 police stations in Delhi alone.

The petition cited the Uttar Pradesh website to say that 15,378 FIRs were registered in Uttar Pradesh against 48,503 persons under Section 188 IPC. Mr. Singh had argued that there were several judgments of the Supreme Court itself that FIRs cannot be registered under Section 188 IPC.

“Police action on an individual who is perhaps suffering from distress and lack of information as a result of the circumstances has ramifications which can extend beyond the coronavirus lockdown, and cannot be good for a constitutional democracy,” the petition had said.

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