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Offences Against the Public Tranquility

Written by Jaya Gupta

 

 OFFENCES AGAINST THE PUBLIC TRANQUILITY

(IPC- CHAPTER VIII)

(SECTION: 141-160)

 

 

  • INTRODUCTION

  • UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY

  • RIOTING

  • PROMOTING ENMITY BETWEEN DIFFERENT CLASSES

  • AFFRAY

 

INTRODUCTION:

Under IPC Chapter VIII deals with the public tranquillity offences. It is the offence against public at large not only a single person or property. These kind of offences are committed by the group of people sharing a common intention to disturb peace and tranquillity of an area.

It is the duty of state to take care of this type of offences and important to study these offences so that they could be curbed.

UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY (SECTION 141):

An assembly of five or more persons is designated an unlawful assembly if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is-

First.To overawe by criminal force, or show of criminal force, 1[the Central or any State Government or Parliament or the Legislature of any State], or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant; or

Second.To resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process; or

Third.To commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other offence; or

Fourth.By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to any person, to take or obtain possession of any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of the use of water or other incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or supposed right; or

Fifth.By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to compel any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally entitled to do.

Explanation.An assembly which was not unlawful when it assembled, may subsequently become an unlawful assembly.

SECTION 142 AND SECTION 143:

Section 142 deals with being member of unlawful assembly and Section 143 deals with Punishment of Unlawful Assembly which may be extend to six month, or with fine or with both.

SECTION 144 AND SECTION 145:

Section 144 deals joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon and Section 145 deals joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse which may  extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

CASES: MOTIDAS CASE, A.I.R. 1954

Essentials of unlawful assembly held in this case.

CASES: In BANWARI v. STATE OF RAJASHTAN, 1979

 

RIOTING (SECTION: 146):

Whenever force or violence is used by an unlawful assembly, or by any member thereof, in prosecution of the common object of such assembly, every member of such assembly is guilty of the offence of rioting.

CASES: RAGUNATH RAI.1892

PUNISHMENT OF RIOTING (SECTION: 147):  The punishment for rioting is under section 148 and can lead to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or fine or both.

Section 148:- Rioting, armed with deadly weapon

Whoever is guilty of rioting, being armed with a deadly weapon or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 149:- Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object

If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.

CASES: MAHMOOD v/s STATE OF U.P. 2008

 

Section 151:- Knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse

Whoever knowingly joins or continues in any assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace, after such assembly has been lawfully commanded to disperse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Explanations

  1. If the assembly is an unlawful assembly within the meaning of section 141, the offender will be punishable under section 145.

Section 152:- Assaulting or obstructing public servant when suppressing riot, etc.

Whoever assaults or threatens to assault, or obstructs or attempts to obstruct, any public servant in the discharge of his duty as such public servant, in endeavoring to disperse an unlawful assembly, or to suppress a riot or affray, or uses, or threatens, or attempts to use criminal force to such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

 

Section 153:- Want only giving provocation with intent to cause riot – if rioting be committed: if not committed

Whoever malignantly, or wantonly by doing anything which is illegal, gives provocation to any person intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause the offence of rioting to be committed, shall, if the offence of rioting be committed in consequence of such provocation, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both, and if the offence of rioting be not committed, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. Promoting enmity between classes.

 

Section 153A & 153B deals with this public offence, these sections make enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, place of birth, race, language and the following publishable offences. It is important to prove intention in such cases and the presence of two opposing communities is also essential to attract this provision. The punishment for this offence is imprisonment for 3 years or fine or both. If this offence is committed inside a religious place then the punishment would exceed 5 years with fine or both.

AFFRAY (SECTION 159):

When two or more persons, by fighting in a public place, disturb the public peace, they are said to “commit an affray”.

 Section 160. Punishment for committing affray: Whoever commits an affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with both.

CASES: JAGARNATH SHAH , 1962

Two brothers were quarrelling and abusing each other on a public road in a town and the traffic jammed. It was held that no affray was committed in absence of actual fight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaya Gupta

Greater Noida college of law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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