Allahabad High Court holds Anti-Romeo Squads valid

Two separate public interest litigations sought intervention of the Allahabad High Court in restraining the Anti Romeo Squads of the UP government from ‘moral policing,’ in face of reports and videos showing an over-reach of powers in the way they targeted and humiliated young couples in public places.

The first PIL was dismissed on the grounds that government orders clearly prohibit moral policing, and that the name of the squads was not per se justiciable. Refusing to pass a direction on the issue of squad personnel uploading images and videos of young couples on social media, the court held that that surveillance can involve capturing of images and videos. Subsequently, another PIL was filed seeking directions to the state government to frame rules, laws and guidelines in respect of Anti-Romeo Squads, and to establish a monitoring authority for the squads. Reiterating its earlier decision, the court dismissed this petition.

Gaurav Gupta v State of UP, P.I.L. (Civil) No.6779 of 2017

Rituraj Mishra v Govt of UP, P.I.L. (Civil) No. 6907 of 2017