Maha Govt to withdraw lockdown cases against students, citizens

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In a significant move, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has decided to withdraw all cases filed against students and general citizens for violation of lockdown orders during the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil said that the cases were mostly filed under Indian Penal Code Section 188, and the proposal shall be put up before the state cabinet for approval.

After the cabinet nod, all such cases lodged across the state shall be taken back, Walse-Patil indicated here on Tuesday.

During the pandemic and the series of lockdowns implemented, especially during the first and second Covid-19 waves during 2020-2021, thousands of cases were lodged against students, youth and common citizens, even some families, for allegedly flouting the lockdown rules.

A police official explained that the cases were largely for moving around during the strict curfew hours at night, stepping out in groups flouting the prohibitory orders, people venturing out to public places like beaches where entry was banned during the lockdown, families violating the rules of travel by private vehicles, certain logistics and service providers exceeding the stipulated working hours, etc.

Though the exact number of such violations is not immediately available and being compiled by various authorities, most cases under the IPC Section 188 stand to be withdrawn, giving huge relief to the offenders.

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