Section 135 CrPC: Obey or Show Cause Order – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 135 CrPC: Obey or Show Cause Order

1. Code:

Section 135 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) deals with the “Obey or Show Cause Order” issued by a Magistrate.

2. Explanation:

This section empowers a Magistrate to pass an order directing a person to obey a specific direction or to show cause why they should not be compelled to obey that direction.

The order can be issued in cases where:

  • There is a reasonable apprehension that a person is likely to commit a breach of peace or disturb public tranquility.
  • There is a reasonable apprehension that a person is likely to obstruct or interfere with the execution of any lawful order.
  • There is a reasonable apprehension that a person is likely to commit an offence.

The Magistrate can pass this order either on their own motion or on the application of any person. The order must state the specific direction to be obeyed and must also inform the person of their right to show cause why they should not be compelled to obey the direction.

3. Illustration:

Suppose there is a rumour of a riot breaking out in a certain locality. The Magistrate, fearing a breach of peace, can issue an order under Section 135, directing all individuals in that locality to remain indoors until further notice. This would be an “Obey or Show Cause” order. If anyone fails to comply, they can be held liable for contempt of court.

4. Common Questions & Answers:

Q: What is the purpose of the ‘Obey or Show Cause’ order?

A: The purpose is to prevent the commission of an offence, maintain public order, and ensure the smooth execution of lawful orders.

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Q: What happens if a person fails to show cause why they should not obey the order?

A: The Magistrate can compel the person to obey the direction. Failure to obey the direction can result in contempt of court proceedings.

Q: Can this order be challenged in a higher court?

A: Yes, the order can be challenged in a higher court on grounds of illegality, procedural impropriety, or violation of fundamental rights.

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