Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today termed as “illegal” the order of SDM banning public meetings and protest near the Chief Minister’s residence and said strict action would be taken against him for violating the law.
He said that only officers of DCP rank and above can issue order under Section 144 of CrPC under the Police Act.
North DCP Madhur Verma has also asked the SDM to withdraw his order pointing that it was “unnecessary interference” in the working of police.
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) B K Jha yesterday issued an order under Section 144 of the CrPC, restricting demonstrations, making of speech by any political party for 30 days outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Flag Staff Road in North Delhi’s Civil Line area.
“The order is illegal because under police commissioner system, the SDM cannot issue an order under Section 144 of CrPC. We will pull up the magistrate.
“He is liable for action for violating the law,” Jung told reporters here.
“If LG is sitting in his office, he imposes Section 144. Tell me can I do it? Despite the fact that the police commissioner reports to me, I cannot impose Section 144 in a particular area. Under Police Act, a Deputy Commissioner of Police can do it,” the Lt Governor further said.
In view of “serious and law and order problems”, Jha, a DANICS officer, had imposed ban on public meetings, dharnas, slogans near the CM’s residence.
“It has been reported that various political parties and pressure groups may hold protests, demonstrations, dharnas, processions etc on political and others issues in front, near or around the residence of the chief minister, GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi), which may create serious law & order problems…,” the SDM said.
“These protests need to be prohibited in order to “prevent public nuisance, obstruction to traffic and persons, danger to inhuman lives or safety and public property,” the SDM (Civil Lines) had said in his order.
Asking Jha to withdraw his yesterday’s order, Madhur Verma said that “a letter has been written to SDM Civil Lines to withdraw his order as it amounts to unnecessary interference in the working of Delhi Police and is beyond the domain of powers of SDM in Delhi.
Verma, the officer whose North Delhi police district covers Chief Minister’s residence, said that order issued by SDM Civil Lines, on August 2 is in violation of Ministry of Home Affairs’ order, dated July 1, 1978, according to which powers and duties of Executive Magistrate and District Magistrate under section 144 CrPC within Delhi are given to Commissioner of Delhi Police.