CHAPTER -4 UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY, RIOT

Unlawful Assembly : Sn. 141. Unlawful assembly is an assembly of five or more persons with the common object:

i) to over-throw by criminal force the Government or the legislature or

ii) To resist the execution of any legal process

iii) To commit mischief (S. 425), criminal trespass (441)

iv) To obtain property or right by criminal force or

v) To criminally force a person to do an act which he is not bound to do, or to force him not to do an act which he is bound to do.


If a person is a member of an unlawful assembly then that person is punishable. An assembly which is not unlawful in the beginning may become unlawful subsequently. The purpose or common object decides the nature of the assembly.The essentials are that there should be five or more persons and there should be the common object as specified in Sn. 141. This is different from common intention in Sn. 34. For unlawful assembly prior meeting of minds is not essential.To be called a "member" of the unlawful assembly the person must have joined knowing the facts, intentionally or continued in it. The punishment for being a member is 6 months imprisonment, fine or both. Aggravated forms are instances of persons armed with deadly weapons joining the unlawful assembly Sn. 144

In Chikkarange Gowda V State of Mysore, the Supreme Court laid down the essentials of unlawful assembly. There should be the minimum of five members & they should have the common object of Sn. 141. The members should know that they are likely to commit an offence, in furtherance of the common object. The prosecution should prove the presence or participation of the member in the unlawful assembly.



Riot: (Sn. 146)

This means if an unlawful assembly or a member thereof, in pursuance of common object, uses force or violence, then every member is guilty of Rioting, (unlawful assembly +force = Riot)Unlawful assembly is an assembly of five or more persons with the common object:


i) to over-throw by criminal force the Government or the legislature or

ii) To resist the execution of any legal process

iii) To commit mischief (S. 425), criminal trespass (441)

iv) To obtain property or right by criminal force or

v) To criminally force a person to do an act which he is not bound to do, or to force him not to do an act which he is bound to do.

If a person is a member of an unlawful assembly then that person is punishable. An assembly which is not unlawful in the beginning may become unlawful subsequently. The purpose or common object decides the nature of the assembly.To be called a "member" of the unlawful assembly the person must have joined knowing the facts, intentionally or continued in it



Affray : (Sn. 159)

If 2 or more persons, fight in a public place, disturb .public peace, they are guilty of affray. The punishment is imprisonment for one month or fine up to Rs.100/- or both. Affray means to terrify i.e., it creates a terror to the public. Actual fighting is necessary. Mere quarrel with some words or threatening words will not amount to affray. There must be physical exchange of blows. Fighting at public taps, or public urinals are examples.


The place must be a public place.In Jagnnath's case, two brothers were quarreling on a public road using abusive language. A large crowd gathered and the traffic was jammed.Held, no affray as there was no "fighting" by the brothers. Fight is a bilateral act and fighting by both parties is essential.In Ellappa V Ellappa, a washerman was beaten, in public place, but there was submission by washerman. He was crying but was not fighting back. Held, there was no fight, hence, no affray. It was only an assault.Affray is different from Riot. For affray there should be two or more persons.. For rioting there should be five or more persons. Riot may be in a private place, but affray should be in public place.




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