New Delhi: The Delhi Police was on Thursday asked by a court here to explain how prohibitory order under section 144 of the CrPC was imposed during a protest by Arvind Kejriwal and other members of Aam Aadmi Party at the Prime Minister`s residence and other places here last year.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Jay Thareja asked the police to justify the imposition of section 144 of CrPC in New Delhi district.
"How you (Police) defend imposition of section 144 of CrPC and what are your views regarding further investigation?," the magistrate told the police and listed the matter for further hearing on March 18 after the public prosecutor sought some time to respond to the court`s query.
The magistrate had earlier questioned the police`s move to impose prohibitory orders during the protest and asked what was the "emergency" of imposing section 144 of CrPC when the protest on the issue of coal blocks allocation scam in August last year was on outside the PM`s house.
The court`s remarks came while hearing arguments on a plea of Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and 23 others who had sought discharge in the case.
The case relates to charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force to obstruct public servants from discharging their duty and damaging public property filed against them after protests on August 26 last year.
All the 26 accused were earlier released by the court after they appeared before it following summons issued against them in connection with three separate rioting cases.
Kejriwal and others were released by the court on an undertaking that they will appear before it to face trial in the case after they had refused to apply for bail.
Bhushan, an accused in the case, had earlier argued imposition of section 144 by Delhi Police was "illegal" and in violation of the orders passed by the Supreme Court.
Bhushan had also said Section 144 is a provision which is meant to take care only of an emergency situation.
According to the charge sheet, on August 26 last year, the accused had violated Sec 144 and staged a protest outside the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi against the coal block allocation scam.
Police had alleged the accused damaged public property during the protest and some of their senior officers were injured.
Police had registered three FIRs against them under various sections of the IPC which deal with charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force to obstruct public servants from discharging their duty as well as section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.