In several parts of the country, section 144 has been imposed, ahead of the Ayodhya verdict. Section 144 (Code of Criminal Procedure) prohibits the assembly of five or more people, holding meetings or carrying weapons. To control such a situation Section 144 is imposed.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
This section of the law prohibits an assembly of five or more people in a particular area. If any person is found engaging in such an ‘unlawful assembly’ then they could be charged for rioting. The maximum punishment for such an act could go up to 3 years of imprisonment.
The first time this section was imposed was in 1861 during the British Raj, it proved a good measure to prevent protests. So, all the nationalist protests during the Indian Independence Movement could be controlled by Section 144.
Difference between Section 144 and curfew
A curfew is when a law orders people to stay indoors for a specific period of time. It prohibits any person to move out without approval from authorities. Curfew is imposed for only a specific amount of time and in a particular area. The educational institutions, markets, and shops remain shut and very selected services are allowed to function.
Section 144 bars mob gatherings but it does not control it all. A curfew is a larger action taken to control the extreme situation. In a curfew, you need permissions to move about. The element of time is very important in these restrictory orders.