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Vikram Singh vs Union Of India

Decided on: 05/05/2020
Writ Petition (criminal )
Diary No. (s):– 10935 /2020
Bench:- Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul
Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.R Gavai


The PIL filed by former IPS officer and chairman of think-tank Center for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), Prof. Dr. Vikram Singh.
PIL was filed in Supreme Court (SC), seeking quashing of all FIRs filed under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for alleged violation of lockdown orders.

Under section 188 of the IPC imprisonment of up to 6 months for disobeying orders passed by a public servant”.

The PIL says that the lockdown is to prevent the community from spread not to turning India into a police state. The PIL argues before the apex court that increasing instances of police brutality and frequent lathi charge during the lockdown and it should not be allowed to normalized and institutionalized.

The PIL reported that between March 23 and April 13, 848 FIR under section 188 of IPC, was filed in Delhi only. The figure was 15,378 FIRs against 48,503 people, in the state of U.P.

The PIL argued that the registration of FIR under section 188 of IPC was illegal. As per the petitioner, only a magistrate can take cognizance of offenses under section 188. Further, it seeks the central government to direct states to refrain from filling FIRs under section 188 of the IPC.
The petitioner also stated that the FIRs being indiscriminate which resulted in the suffering of poor people because of their lacked the means to legal representation, were being targeted.

The petitioner also pointed out, red flags that instance of lathicharge and corporal punishment aimed primarily at the poor.


• No FIR can be registered under section 188 of the IPC by the police.
• The legal processes cannot be now misused by the police when the Disaster Management Act has been invoked.
• The burden on the police due to paperwork of the case.
• Action by the police violates people’s Fundamental Right under Article 14 and 21.


The Supreme Court dismissed the PIL seeking the quashing of FIRs registered under section 188 of the IPC against thousand of people for violations of the COVID-19 lockdown. By stating that how the lockdown would be enforced without invoking the provision.

“We are not inclined to entertain this petition under Article 32 of the Constitution the writ petition is accordingly dismissed”.
______ Supreme Court


Supreme Court took this decision because the disobeying of the government order will result in danger to human life, health, or safety.

And PIL is based on the wrong premise and puts forward a wrong solution to a very genuine problem that arisen for the Indian Legal system during this lockdown. The solution does not lie in merely quashing these FIRs, as they have the effect of encouraging further violation of the lockdown order, which the police have maintained with such difficulty.

A more ambitious way of resolving these matters fairly quickly is to set up special courts dedicated for this purpose, but that may require legislation to be passed by the government and we are looking forward to a permanent solution for this.


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