Social activist Vivek Monterio, who was issued orders through text message on his mobile phone prohibiting him from entering Ratnagiri district by the police, has decided to accompany the member of Parliaments visiting project-affected people of the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. “I have not been served with any notice legally,” said Monteiro.
On March 10, Monteiro of the Konkan Bachao Samiti, got a text message informing him that he could not enter Ratnagiri district from March 9 to March 24. The message said it was sent by “Ratnagiri District Police”. When Monterio replied asking the sender’s identity and that a proper legal procedure should be followed when slapping such orders, he received no response.
The legal fraternity also appears to be disagreeing with the police machinery in Ratnagiri saying that a prohibitory order could not be intimated through Short Messaging Service (SMS). Advocate Aniket Nikam said that the mode adopted for intimating the order shows negligent approach on part of the authority. Lawyer Dhairyasheel Sutar said intimating an order through SMS is unheard of. “It has neither been recognised under the Code of Civil Procedure nor the Code for Criminal Procedure as a mode of serving a prohibitory order,” said Sutar.
Former director general of police SS Virk said that with advancement of technology, this probably was an attempt to alert about the order. “This may not have a legal value but just an alert which should be confirmed by written order from the court signed by the competent authority.”