Act according to the act

According to a Punjab Government representative, Article 144 has been implemented in Lahore for indefinite time period. Section 144 prohibits congregation of four or more people in public places.

“Article 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows the government to act preventively if it perceives the danger of public disorder. A magistrate may prohibit meetings of five or more persons, forbid the carrying of firearms, and impose “preventive detention” on anybody thought likely to disturb public order. Although a detainee is entitled to be informed of the reason for his detention and to a fair review of the case, these restrictions are in practice easy to circumvent, and the constitution specifically denies such detainees procedural guarantees. The government, especially in periods of martial law, has used Section 144 frequently when feeling its position could be threatened by demonstrations and public opposition to its policies; Section 144’s provisions have also been used, however, to contain disorder that is not political.”

A peep into the history, ” I remember that during agitation against bhutto regime in 1977, the tactic used by protesters to circumvent the section 144 was that people took out protests in rows of three or two people each. So if three thousand people were protesting, there were a thousand rows of three persons each. As these rows were not connected so it was not deemed a violation of section 144.”

2 Comments so far

  1. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on November 25th, 2007 @ 9:43 pm

    Well that was a smart move :) Who says people lack sense here in Pakistan! ;)

  2. Babar (unregistered) on November 26th, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    So, did the bhutto “regime” cared so much for the letter of the law that it did not arrest the people if they were not connected (physically? by 5 feet margin? what does law say?)

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