Hyderabad: Many of the FIRs registered in the city during the lockdown was under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the IPC.          Playing cards

Violating section 188 of the IPC can lead to imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of Rs. 1,000 while a person can be sent to jail for up to two years for violating section 270. However, some of the charges for these FIRs seem absurd.

In one such case, 21-year-old Mohammad Yousuf Khan was booked under section 270 of the IPC and section 51 of the Disaster Management Act after a patrolling constable caught him selling cigarettes and pan masala. An FIR was registered against him at the Falaknuma police station. “We brought him to the police station as he violated the government orders,” Kishan Naik, a police constable, wrote in the FIR.

On 2 April, the Falaknuma police booked a person for playing cards inside his house. According to the FIR, by playing and organising the card game, which is a game of chance, the person collected money from the punters for profit.

On 6 April, a Kirana shop owner in Charminar was booked under sections 188 and 270 of the IPC as his customers were not following the social distancing rules, according to the police. “The SI warned the shop owner to maintain social distance. He violated the orders issued by the government of Telangana. When the SI tried to get hold of the customers, they ran away. Such gatherings may cause the spread of COVID-19. Later, the police brought the shop owner to the police station,” said the FIR.

On the same day, another case was booked at the Charminar police station against a cement shop owner for unloading bags of cement from a three-wheeler vehicle. The shopkeeper had opened the shop to put the bags inside. “He violated the order issued by the government of Telangana which may cause the spread COVID-19,” the police said in its FIR. A case was registered under sections 188 and 270 of the IPC.

 

In May 2020, the Supreme Court had quashed a plea seeking to dismiss the FIRs registered under these sections. People booked under these sections will have to stand trial.

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