Unlawful Assemblies (section 129 to 132) Under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
Unlawful assembly is a legal term to describe a group of people with the mutual intent of deliberate disturbance of the peace. If the group are about to start the act of disturbance, it is termed a rout; if the disturbance commenced, its then termed a riot.
Dispersal of assembly by use of civil force (Section 129)
Any Executive Magistrate or office in charge of a police station or any police officer not below the rank of a sub-inspector. These officers may command to disperse any unlawful assembly of five or more persons causing disturbance of the public peace. Its also the duty of the members of such assembly to disperse accordingly.
Even if after so commanded, any such assembly does not disperse. Then any officer mentioned above may proceed to disperse by force. They may also require help of members of armed forces or such people. Armed forces helps in dispersing such assemblies. If necessary arrest and confine the persons who form a part of unlawful assembly. Such persons punishable according to law.
Use of armed forces to disperse assembly (section 130)
If any such assembly does not get dispersed. Then the Executive Magistrate of the highest rank orders armed force to disperse the assembly. Its necessary for public security of country.
Such Magistrate orders any officer in command of any group of persons belonging to the armed forces to disperse the assembly with the help of the armed forces under his command. They can also arrest and confine such persons forming part of it. Magistrate may direct, or as it may be necessary to arrest and confine in order to disperse the assembly or to have them punished according to law.
Every such officer of the armed forces shall obey such order as he considers fit. While doing so, he shall use as little force, and do as little injury to person and property.
Power of certain armed force officers to disperse assembly (Section 131)
Any commissioned or gazette officer of the armed forces may disperse such assembly with the help of the armed forces under his command. They can also arrest and confine any persons forming part of it. Such officers so authorized if no executive magistrate reachable and public security clearly endangered by such assemblies. They can also punished according to law. If it becomes possible to communicate with an executive magistrate, then he shall obey the order of such magistrate.
Protection against prosecution for acts done ( Section 132)
No prosecution against any person for any act done under section 129, section 130 or section 131 shall instituted in any Criminal Court except.
- with the sanction of the Central Government where such person an officer or member of the armed forces;
- with the sanction of the State Government in any other case.
- Executive Magistrate or police officer acting under any of the said sections in good faith;
- person doing any act in good faith in compliance with a requisition under section 129 or section 130;
- officer of the armed forces acting under section 131 in good faith;
- member of the armed forces doing any act in obedience of any order which he was bound to obey, shall be deemed to have thereby, committed an offence.
In this section and in the preceding sections of this Chapter,
- the expression “armed forces” means the military, naval and air forces, operating as land forces and includes any other Armed Forces of the Union so operating;
- “officer” in relation to the armed forces, means a person commissioned, gazetted or in pay as an officer of the armed forces and includes a junior commissioned officer, a warrant officer, a petty officer, a non-commissioned officer and a non-gazetted officer;
- “member” in relation to the armed forces, means a person in the armed forces other than an officer.