The Hon’ble Madras HC of late quashed the criminal proceedings initiated against an advocate for indulging in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (hereinafter referred to as “CAA, 2019”) in Chennai in December 2019.
The FIR was duly lodged against Advocate under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 188 (disobedience to orders of public servants) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as “IPC, 1860”) Despite the fact permitting the petition filed by Advocate under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “CrPC, 1973) to quash the criminal proceedings against her in IX Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Saidapet, Chennai, the Hon’ble single bench detected that no offence has been out against the petitioner.
Needful to mention that the Hon’ble Court also took note of the precedents which held that police cannot register FIR under Section 188 IPC, 1860.
Furthermore, the Hon’ble Court observed that the policy decision of the State Government to withdraw the criminal cases filed against persons for indulging in anti-CAA protests. “it is brought to the notice of this Court that the Government has taken a policy decision that all the cases that were registered against those who indulged in protest against the amendment to Citizenship Act, is going to be withdrawn by the State”, Hon’ble Justice mentioned while passing the order.
In the backdrop, the Court also opined that “no useful purpose will be served” by continuing the criminal proceedings against the lawyer. Accordingly, the petition was allowed by quashing the criminal proceedings.