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Chapter VIII – Of Offences Against the Public Tranquillity

Section 141:- Unlawful assembly

An assembly of five or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly”, if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is:

  1. To overawe by criminal force, or show of criminal force, 1the 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
  2. To resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process; or
  3. To commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other offence; or
  4. 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
  5. 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.

Explanations

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

Section 142:- Being member of unlawful assembly

Whoever, being aware of facts which render any assembly an unlawful assembly, intentionally joins that assembly, or continues in it, is said to be a member of an unlawful assembly.

Section 143:- Punishment

Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Section 144:- Joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon

Whoever, being armed with any deadly weapon, or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 145:- Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse

Whoever joins or continues in an unlawful assembly, knowing that such unlawful assembly has been commanded in the manner prescribed by law to disperse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 146:- Rioting

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.

Section 147:- Punishment for rioting

Whoever is guilty of rioting, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with 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.

Section 150:- Hiring, or conniving at hiring, of persons to join unlawful assembly

Whoever hires or engages, or employes, or promotes, or connives at the hiring, engagement or employment of any person to join or become a member of any unlawful assembly, shall be punishable as a member of such unlawful assembly, and for any offence which may be committed by any such person as a member of such unlawful assembly in pursuance of such hiring, engagement or employment, in the same manner as if he had been a member of such unlawful assembly, or himself had committed such offence.

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.

Section 153A:- Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony

  1. Whoever -
    1. by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racials, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or
    2. commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity, or
    3. organizes any exercise, movement, drill or other similar activity intending that the participants in such activity shall use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, or participates in such activity intending to use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, against any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community and such activity for any reason whatsoever causes or is likely to cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst members of such religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
  2. Offence committed in place of worship, etc – -Whoever commits an offence specified in sub-section (1) in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 153B:- Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration

  1. Whoever, by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise
    1. makes or publishes any imputation that any class of persons cannot, by reason of their being members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community, bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established or uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, or
    2. asserts, counsels, advises, propagates or publishes that any class of persons by reason of their being members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community be denied, or deprived of their rights as citizens of India, or
    3. makes or publishes and assertion, counsel, plea or appeal concerning the obligation of any class of persons, by reason of their being members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community, and such assertion, counsel, plea or appeal causes or is likely to cause disharmony or feelings of enmity or hatred or ill-will between such members and other persons, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
  2. Whoever commits an offence specified in sub-section (1), in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 154:- Owner or occupier of land on which an unlawful assembly is held

Whenever any unlawful assembly or riot takes place, the owner or occupier of the land upon which such unlawful assembly is held, or such riot is committed, and any person having or claiming an interest in such land, shall be punishable with fine not exceeding one thousand rupees, if he or his agent or manager, knowing that such offence is being or has been committed, or having reason to believe it is likely to be committed, do not give the earliest notice thereof in his or their power to the principal officer at the nearest police-station, and do not, in the case of his or their having reason to believe that it was about to be committed, use all lawful means in his or their power to prevent it and, in the event of its taking place, do not use all lawful means in his or their power to disperse or suppress the riot or unlawful assembly.

Section 155:- Liability of person for whose benefit riot is committed

Whenever a riot is committed for the benefit or on behalf of any person who is the owner or occupier of any land respecting which such riot takes place or who claims any interest in such land, or in the subject of any dispute which gave rise to the riot, or who has accepted or derived any benefit therefrom, such person shall be punishable with fine, if he or his agent or manager, having reason to believe that such riot was likely to be committed or that the unlawful assembly by which such riot was committed was likely to be held, shall not respectively use all lawful means in his or their power to prevent such assembly or riot from taking place, and for suppressing and dispersing the same.

Section 156:- Liability of agent of owner or occupier for whose benefit riot is committed

Whenever a riot is committed for the benefit or on behalf of any person who is the owner or occupier of any land respecting which such riot takes place, or who claims any interest in such land, or in the subject of any dispute which gave rise to the riot, or who has accepted or derived any benefit therefrom, the agent or manager of such person shall be punishable with fine, if such agent or manager, having reason to believe that such riot was likely to be committed, or that the unlawful assembly by which such riot was committed was likely to be held, shall not use all lawful means in his power to prevent such riot or assembly from taking place and for suppressing and dispersing the same.

Section 157:- Harbouring persons hired for an unlawful assembly

Whoever harbours, receives or assembles, in any house or premises in his occupation or charge, or under his control any persons knowing that such persons have been hired, engaged or employed, or are about to be hired, engaged or employed, to join or become members of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Section 158:- Being hired to take part in an unlawful assembly or riot

Whoever is engaged, or hired, or offers or attempts to be hired or engaged, to do or assist in doing any of the acts specified in section 141, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Or to Go Armed – and whoever, being so engaged or hired as aforesaid, goes armed, or engages or offers to go armed, with any 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 two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 159:- Affray

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.