Police Cannot Lodge an FIR for violating Lockdown.

Police Cannot Lodge an FIR for violating Lockdown.

Dispatch News.

Rajnandgaon. An interesting incident happened in Ambargarh on June 07 2020. A female doctor who was preparing for Civil Services while staying in Delhi returned to Rajnandgaon. The doctor was preparing for exams in Delhi and got stuck during the sudden lockdown due to Covid-19 in March. When the  Government of Chhattisgarh introduced the e-pass facility in June, then she returned to her hometown on June 7 after following proper protocols. After reaching her home, she gave information to the Community Health Center, Ambagarh Chowki and Chief Health Officer on June 10, about coming from another state. The Chief Municipality Officer, unaware of Collector's orders, did not receive this information, and later the female doctor tested positive for COVID.

Then the Chief Municipality Officer lodged an FIR in the Ambagarh outpost against the doctor for violating Collector's order, after coming from another state, and for spreading COVID. The doctor filed a case against this FIR  in the High Court.

The defendant's lawyer, Shalvik Tiwari, argued that under Section 195 (1) (a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an FIR cannot be lodged under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Moreover, the officer concerned can only file a complaint before a competent judicial magistrate. Apart from this, the assigned e-pass itself confirms that the government has complete information about the passenger coming from other states.

Taking cognizance of the case, a single bench of Justice Sanjay K. Aggarwal directed that if the offence comes under Section 188 of the IPC, FIR cannot be for Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code. He ordered for the FIR against Dr Apoorva Ghiya should be rejected.