Though both the offences fall under the same Chapter, but there are material differences between the two namely:
(1) Five or more persons are required in order to constitute rioting, whereas only two or more persons are sufficient for affray.
(2) The common object of five or more persons in a case of riot must be any one of those five objects which are laid down under Section 141 of the Code, whereas it is not necessary in a case of affray.
(3) Exercise of force or violence is necessary in a case of rioting. It is not necessary for affray.
(4) Riot may be committed in any place—public or private. Affray is only committed in a public place.
(5) Fighting amongst themselves is not an essential ingredient of rioting. Fighting is necessary for affray.
(6) In rioting every member of the unlawful assembly is made constructively liable, whereas in case of affray only those who are actually engaged are punished.
(7) The offence of rioting can never be said to have been committed unless the basic ingredients of Section 141 are present. That is to say, that Section 141 controls Section 146 while Section 159, dealing with affray, is an independent section.
(8) Disturbance of the public peace is not an essential of rioting, whereas it is all for affray.
(9) Rioting is more serious than affray.
Liability of persons other than Rioteers:
The following persons other than rioteers are punishable—
(i) Persons for whose benefit riot is committed (Section 155).
(ii) The agent or manager of person for whose benefit riot is committed (Section 156)
(iii) Owner or occupier of land on which an unlawful assembly is held (Section 154).
(iv) Person who knowingly harbours or assembles in premises in his occupation, members of an unlawful assembly, persons about to be hired or engaged as such members (Section 157).
(v) Persons who hire or connive at hiring persons to be members of an unlawful assembly (Section 150).
(vi) Persons engaged or hired or offer attempt to be hired or engaged (Section 158).
(vii) Persons wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot (Section 153).
Where a riot is committed on behalf of a person who :
(1) Is the owner or occupier of land respecting which riot takes place, or
(2) Who claims any interest—
(a) In such land, or
(b) In the subject of any dispute which causes the riot, or
(3) Who has accepted or derived any benefit there from,
such person is liable to fine, if (i) he, (ii) his agent, or (iii) his manager, having reason to believe that such riot was likely to be committed or the unlawful assembly which committed the riot was likely to be held, does not use all lawful means for preventing the riot, or for suppressing and dispersing the same (Section 155).
Under similar circumstances, the agent or manager is punishable likewise (Section 156). The owner or occupier of the land upon which such unlawful assembly is held or such riot is committed (such land not being the cause of the riot) and any person having or claiming an interest in such land shall under similar circumstances, be punishable with fine not exceeding one thousand rupees if he fails to give notice thereof to the principal officer at the nearest police station and does not use all lawful means to prevent or suppress or disperse (Section 154).