difference between lockdown and section 144

difference between lockdown and section 144
  • Novel Coronavirus outbreak forces an international health emergency.

  • Countries and states go for lockdowns to quarantine COVID-19

  • Lockdown is different from Section 144: Here are the differences you must know
The number of coronavirus cases across the globe is mounting. Counties and states go for lockdown as a viable quarantine measure to prevent the explosive spread of COVID-19. The media is full of news about lockdowns in different countries. India went in for a nationwide lockdown on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Delhi declared a lockdown in the NCT jurisdiction till March 31, 2020. States in India are following suite to go in for state-wide lockdowns one after another to control the pandemic. Here is the difference between lockdown and Section 144.

A Day-long lockdown in India

Asking the public to follow a Janta curfew, the Prime Minister said on March 19, 2020, "Today, I am seeking one more support from every citizen. It is Janta Curfew - a curfew for the people and imposed by people themselves." In India, the government did not want to impose the curfew on the citizens, rather the lockdown on March 22, 2020 was fashioned as a self-imposed one by the people as evident from the PM’s request and the name coined for it namely ‘Janta curfew’. The same model is followed by other states in India.

Understanding the lockdown as implemented in India

The lockdown in India, with its coined name as ‘Janta curfew’ can also be called as a self-curfew. It is a kind of self-imposed lockdown. It means that the people in the country are following the lockdown on their own conscience and will. Going outside the house during the lockdown will not invite severe penal action. The intention behind the curfew was to get the people ready for any social distancing procedures if any emergencies come up.


The rules of the lockdown are listed by the government in a way suiting the objectives of controlling the pandemic besides allowing the necessary flexibility to minimize the disturbances to the public life. The restrictions on businesses allow only the essential services to continue. Transport services stand suspended with minimal operations essential to support the essential services. Businesses are advised to let people work from home. Gatherings of more than 5 people are banned.

Understanding Section 144

Section 144 introducing curfew requires people to stay indoors during the time specified in the announcement. Section 144 forming part of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) deals with emergency situations.

Section 144 grants the authority to any executive Magistrate of any state of Union Territory to order the implementation of Section 144 either to control or prevent any unlikely situation like that of a riot.

As per Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, a gathering of four or more people is banned in a given area. In case of any violations of this rule, every member of the group can be charged for participating in a riot.

Section 144 is called for during emergency cases of nuisance or to check the impending danger of some event or cause that is potential enough to create troubles or cause damage to life and property. The anger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property. Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure generally prohibits public gathering.

See Also -
The difference between lock down, curfew and Section 144
What is lockdown