Sec 144 in Tamil Nadu from today; what to do, what not to

Restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC will be imposed in the state from today evening till March 31 in the wake of surging cases of COVID-19 in the country.

However, the shops of essential products such as milk, vegetable and grocery will remain open and exempt from the order. Also, all private establishments have been instructed to allow their employees to work from home.

Speaking in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “Restrictions under section 144 of CrPC will be imposed in Tamil Nadu from 6 pm tomorrow till March 31. Shops of milk, vegetable, grocery, mutton, chicken and fish will continue to function in this period. State borders will be sealed.”

“Following the Centre recommending steps to ward off Covid-19, the state government has decided to lockdown all districts from 6pm on Tuesday. People must follow social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading,” said the chief minister.

He said though the Centre had recommended lockdown only in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Erode districts, the government decided to lockdown all the districts.

“State borders will be closed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 with district collectors and police commissioners to issue appropriate orders under Section 144,” he said while making a suo motu statement in the Assembly.

Vehicles with essential commodities will be allowed to ply. Government departments dealing with essential/emergency  services such as police, fire services, medical and court, will be operational, he said.

Other than shops selling essential commodities like milk, meat and groceries, other shops, commercial complexes and workshops will not function.

Government departments like district administration, police, fire and rescue services, prisons, public health, courts and local bodies will continue to function. Other government offices are to remain closed.

Employees of private firms including IT, telecom and other technological sectors are to work from home while private medical facilities can continue to operate.

Other than emergency services, no other transport services including public and private buses, autos and taxis will function. Interdistrict and interstate transport will not function barring those for essential services.