Author: Sushma Narayan


India is a democratic and peaceful country in the world. This article analysis the provisions related to public tranquility, which was dealt under CHAPTER VIII, Sections 141 to 160 of IPC, 1872. And it discuss about classifications of offences, and its punishment accordingly prescribed under law. The article concludes public order and peace is important thing in one’s Nation.  We are try to decrease these type crimes in our Nation with maintain peace, and tighten the laws related to this type of offences.


Peace and Tranquility is a most important one in every nation’s development. No country can develop or grow socially and economically without peace and Public tranquility. If any offence against Public tranquility, it is punishable by law.   

Offences against Public tranquility dealt under CHAPTER VIII, sections 141 to 160 of Indian Penal Code [IPC] 1872. Public tranquility means number of persons or group of persons engaging or doing a criminal act with a common intention, to cause disturbance of the peace of the Society.

These Offences can be broadly divided into the following –

                   1. Unlawful assembly

                 2. Rioting

                 3. Affray

                 4. Promoting enmity different classes


Provision regarding the meaning of ” Unlawful assembly” dealt under Section 141 of IPC, 1872. Unlawful assembly means an assembly of five or more persons with a common intention to,

1st – To overawe, or show Criminal force against Central, or State Government , or Parliament, or State Legislatures of any state , or any Public Servant,

2nd – Resistance to the execution of law, or legal process,

3rd – Commit any Mischief, Criminal trespass, or other offences,

4th- By means of Criminal force, or show of Criminal force, to any person, to take or obtain possession of any property, or deprive the rights of the person from possession, or enjoyment,

5th – To use Criminal force against a person and compelling him to do something which he is not legally bound to do.

One thing to note here, the assembly must consist of five or more persons. If incase, only four persons are there in an assembly, it will not considered as Unlawful assembly. There must be a common intention and object [section 149].

In ”Dara Singh  Vs  State of Bihar ,2005 SCC[Cri] 127 ” case, SC held that, where Common object is a question of an Unlawful assembly is not proved, the accused persons cannot be convicted with the help of Section 149 .

In Ram Bilas Singh Vs State of Bihar 1963, SC held that, in certain situations, Conviction should take places, where even the number of persons in an unlawful assembly becomes less than 5 also.

Who is considered as a member of Unlawful assembly?

Any person, whoever,

[i] Aware of the facts which render any assembly as Unlawful assembly,

[ii] Intentionally joins, or continues in that assembly,

Said to be member of an Unlawful assembly. And the provisions regarding ” Member of an Unlawful assembly ‘‘dealt under Section 142 of IPC, 1872.


The members in Unlawful assembly is punished with Imprisonment for a term, may extend to 6 months, or with fine, or with both Imprisonment and fine [section 142].

The member’s in Unlawful assembly ,joining with deadly weapons, likely to cause Death of any person means, punished with Imprisonment for a term, may extend to 2 years, or  with fine , or both Imprisonment and fine.


Riot means, a violence of the peace by a crowd. Provision regarding the meaning of ”Rioting ” dealt under section 146 of IPC, 1872. Rioting means, any member in an Unlawful assembly, using force or violence to commit any offence with common intention.

Such member in Unlawful assembly is guilty of an offence of Rioting, and punished with Imprisonment for a term 2 years, or with fine, or with both Imprisonment and fine. [Section 147 of IPC 1872].

The essential ingredients for Riots include, common intention and object of committing a crime. If incase of Rioting armed with deadly weapon , likely cause death or any offence with common intention and object means, punished with Imprisonment for a term, may extend to 3 years, or with fine , or with both Imprisonment and fine.

Unlawful assembly and Rioting, they both have similar in character, except in Riot, there is an addition of Violence.


Affray, simply it means, an instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace. Provision regarding the meaning of ”Affray” defined under Section 159 of IPC, 1872. Affray means, two or more persons fighting in public place and disturb the public and peace.

If any person said to have committed the offences or guilty of affray , shall be punished  with Imprisonment for a term , may extend to one month , or with fine , or may extend to 100 rupee, or with both Imprisonment and fine.

In Sunil Kumar Mohamed Alias Mahakhuda Vs State of Orissa, SC held that, in Affray, it is not necessary that it want to taken place in public. Only it has the potential to cause a disturbance in the public tranquility could be termed as affray.


Provision regarding Promoting enmity between different classes dealt under Section 153A and 153B of IPC,1872.Section 153A talks about, to make enmity between different groups like on religion , place of birth, race, language, and etc. are punishable offence. Whoever, said  to promote enmity between different classes , when , by words , either spoken, or written , or by signs , or by visible representation  ,it leads to feeling of enmity or hatred between two classes of citizens means, punished with Imprisonment which may extend to 3 years , or with fine , or with both Imprisonment and fine.              

Even though, ARTICLE 19 of constitution of India guaranteed us to Freedom of Speech and Expression .If incase, that speech and expression of words leads to hatred or feeling of enmity between different group’s means, it is restricted. Why because, there is some restriction like State can impose reasonable restriction on it to protect public order and peace.

In Bilal Ahmad kalo Vs State of Andhra Pradesh 1997, SC held that, Mens Rea is an important element to convict a person liable for punishment under Section 153A.

In Gopal Vinayak Godse Vs UOI 1969, SC held that, it is not necessary that, certain acts, which leads to enmity or hatred between different classes. But, the matter, which comes under the ambit of Section 153A of IPC, partly or wholly means, it is enough to that. 


Peace is a tool that takes a country on the path of progress.  Getting a better peaceful environment is a goal that leads to development of one’s Nation. This goal may not be an easy one to achieve, but things that are worth doing are often not easy.

The Indian penal code 1872 punishes the offences against the public tranquility. The public tranquility is a criminal offences and it is injurious public peace for the development of the society. ”Crimes are not going to decrease until the laws are tightened.”  So some reforms are needed to make these provisions for changing time.