Dispersal of Assemblies by use of Civil Force (Section 129 of CrPc)

Legal provisions regarding Dispersal of assemblies by use of civil force under section 129 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

According to Section 129(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, any Executive Magistrate or officer-in-charge of a police station or, in the absence of such officer-in-charge, any police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector, may command any unlawful assembly, or any assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace, to disperse; and it shall thereupon be the duty of the members of such assembly to disperse accordingly.

As per sub-section (2) of Section 129 of the Code, if, upon being, so commanded, any such assembly does not disperse, or if, without being so commanded, it conducts itself in such a manner as to show a determination not to disperse, any Executive Magistrate or police officer may proceed to disperse such assembly by force, and may require the assistance of any male person, not being an officer or member of the armed forces and acting as such, for the purpose of dispersing such assembly, and, if necessary, arresting and confining the persons who form part of it, in order to disperse such assembly or that they may be punished according to law.

To disperse the assembly by using force, it should be:

(1) An unlawful assembly with the object of committing violence or an assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace;

(2) Ordered to be dispersed; and

(3) An assembly which does not disperse in spite of order to disperse.

Unauthorized firing on assembled people is disapproved and unjustified and the dependants of the victims were ordered to be compensated by the State.

Section 129 contemplates two kinds of assemblies:

(1) An unlawful assembly within the meaning of Section 141 of the Indian Penal Code; and

(2) An assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of public peace.

For disobeying the command to disperse the former kind of assembly is punishable under Section 145 of the Indian Penal Code and the latter under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code. The unlawful character of the assembly has to be determined with reference to Section 141 of the Indian Penal Code.