Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Section 144 to keep order better during election process, explain officials

The district administrations have imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in all urban bodies going to polls to ensure free and fair municipal elections. Section 144 confers powers on Magistrates to issue an such orders at once in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger. Magistrates can impose restrictions on the personal liberties of individuals, whether in a specific locality or in a town itself where the situation has the potential to cause unrest or danger to peace and tranquility.
When contacted, District Collector, East, Prabhakar Verma, explained that this will not curtail the campaign activities, but will in fact make them safer through proper regulation. All activities pertaining to the election campaign, rallies, etc can be carried out after obtaining permission from the District Administration. Venues for such meetings will also be allotted if the political parties approach the administration.
He said that this is normal practice during elections and that enforcement of section 144 does not mean that political activities are restricted.
The prohibitory order came into force on 12 September and will continue till the election process is over or unless withdrawn earlier, said Mr Verma. In East Sikkim, the order applies to Municipal areas of Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Singtam and Rangpo Nagar Panchayats. The officers in-charge of all the police stations within the territory of East Sikkim have been directed to ensure strict compliance of this order, he added.

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