Delhi HC junks colonial-era law designed to put protesters in jail for disobeying public servants
news Monday, January 25, 2016 - 10:11

The Delhi High Court has junked a British-era criminal law according to which protesters or agitators could be put in jail for long for disobeying public servants, The Times of India reported. 

According to the TOI report, "Though independent India reformed its Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in 1973 and junked the 1932 amendment -introduced to counter freedom struggle -Delhi continued to follow the older variant making sections 186, 189 and 506 IPC cognizable (police could arrest without warrant) and sections 188 and 506 non-bailable (only courts can grant bail after some duration)."

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath recently allowed a PIL filed by Rajiv Mehra which sought to apply uniformity to these sections in Delhi as it is the case in the rest of India. 

Mehra had earlier been arrested and jailed for allegedly breaking into a building in Patel Nagar in Delhi sealed by the municipal corporation for violation of building bylaws, states the report. 

In his 2007 petition, Mehra stated that even though the rest of the country had junked the law over 30 years ago, the Delhi government instead revived the changes in 2004 through a notification. 

The report further states, "HC's ruling came after the AAP government took a stand disowning the 2004 decision of the then Delhi regime. In an affidavit filed by standing counsel Rahul Mehra, the government maintained "there should not be any undue advantage given to public servants when dealing with public movements/civil society movements and agitations."

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