Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta has drawn flak for his remarks that the police would file an attempt to murder case against violators of COVID-19 protocols.

Gauhati High Court’s senior lawyers have dubbed the statements of DGP Mahanta as “childish, of poor legal knowledge and unfortunate.”

In what could be called the sheer arrogance of a top cop, the Assam Police Chief on Wednesday threatened to file an attempt to murder case against violators of COVID-19 protocols.

“It is a statement made with poor legal knowledge. It is a childish comment for a man in his position. The attempt to murder has been clearly defined in IPC 307 and his statement cannot be above that,” senior advocate Angshuman Bora said.

Section 307 of the IPC deals with the attempt to murder, which is defined as an act committed with the intention to murder or knowledge, leading to either death or serious injury.

“The non-compliance of COVID-19 standard operating procedure will be just a violation of the promulgated order, which can be dealt with under Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the IPC. The procedures to follow these are there in the Code of Criminal Procedure,” Bora told a news agency.

He said that any violation of promulgated orders does not even invite filing of cases, but only registering a complaint in the court.

“Any such case will not survive in the court,” Bora said in the DGP’s comment.

Section 188 is related to disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant and the maximum punishment under this can go up to imprisonment of six months or fine which may extend to Rs 1,000 or both.

Mahanta releasing a new set of restrictions to control the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday had said, “If someone organises any function secretly at a place and invites people, then it will be considered as a betrayal to the society and country.”

Gauhati High Court Advocate Rakhee Sirauthia Chowdhury termed the top cop’s comments as “rather unfortunate”.

“Perhaps it was made with an idea of instilling fear into the minds of the general public for ensuring strict and diligent compliance of the SOP,” she added.

“The sections of penal code can be attributed to a given case provided ingredients of the offences are operative,” he added.

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