The news about the Mumbai Police imposing certain restrictions and bans hit headlines every now and then. But very few people know that these are not new orders but the same order which is renewed every 15 days. On December 2, reports claimed that the police issued a press release — imposing prohibiting the gathering of more than four-five people and banning the use of loudspeakers among other things till January 2.
Soon, several Twitter user took to the social media platforms to ask if the news about the curfew is true.
contacted the Mumbai Police
only to find out that this is an order which is renewed every 15 days and right now, it has been renewed till December 17. The order for the next 15 days will be taken into consideration later. Therefore, there's no order yet which imposes curbs till January 2. The Mumbai Police press release
also says they have imposed the restrictions in the city from December 3 to December 17.
"This is only a 'jamao bandi' from December 3 to 17 which is renewed every 15 days. Under this, the gathering of four-five people is prohibited," a police official said. The Mumbai Police also issued a clarification stating, "Above are routine orders which are issued by Mumbai Police throughout the year."
The Joint CP issued a clarification via Twitter.
This isn't the first time this confusion ensued after a similar order was passed. Last time, on October 25, a similar situation unfolded when the routine order of unlawful assembly under the Maharashtra Police Act was renewed. The order copy got leaked and it created confusion.
What does the law say?
Under the Maharashtra Police Act, the gathering of more than four people is always prohibited in Mumbai. The prohibitory orders are issued under section 37 of the Act for 15 days. "Under the prohibitory orders under section 37 of Maharashtra Police Act in Mumbai, no more than 5 persons can gather at a place, no processions allowed, bursting of firecrackers, use of loudspeakers and music bands in a procession not allowed. Wedding ceremonies, funerals exempted," news agency ANI reported
This order doesn't largely affect anything or anyone. Police also don't take any action until and unless a gathering leads to a law and order situation. In case a ruckus, or unrest of a "law and order situation" arises, the accused is also charged under sections of violation of the Maharashtra Police Act.
In addition to this, the Bombay Police Act, 1951
also bestows commissioners and district magistrates with powers to issue prohibitory orders for the prevention of disorder.
"The Commissioner and the District Magistrate in areas under their respective charges, may whenever and for such time as he shall consider necessary for the preservation of public peace or public safety by a notification publicly promulgated or addressed to individuals, prohibit at any town, village or place or in the vicinity of any such town, village or place...," the Act says.
Under this Act, authorities may impose restrictions on the "carrying of arms, cudgels, swords, spears, bludgeons, guns, knives, sticks or lathis", "public utterance of cries, singing of songs, playing of musk" and "delivery of harangues, the use of gestures or mimetic representations" among other things.
So, the next time you see a fresh report about restrictions being imposed on social gatherings, don't panic. It might just be an order renewed by the Mumbai Police to ensure peace in the city.
(With inputs from Santia Gora)
First Published: Dec 2, 2022 4:13 PM IST