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 is commenced, it is then termed a riot.
Section 409 is a section of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits assembly of five or more persons, holding of public meetings, and carrying of firearms and can be invoked for up to two months. It also gives the magistracy the power to issue order absolute at once in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger. With the introduction of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in 1976, Section 144 has ceased to operate in the metropolitan jurisdiction in Bangladesh.
Canadian Criminal Code
Under Part II of the Canadian Criminal Code (Offences Against Public Order), Unlawful Assemblies and Riots is when the assembly of three or more persons who cause fear and on reasonable grounds disturb peace in the neighborhood against the law.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973, empowers a magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than ten people in an area. According to sections 141-149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the maximum punishment for engaging in rioting is rigorous imprisonment for 3 years and/or fine. Every member of an unlawful assembly can be held responsible for a crime committed by the group. Obstructing an officer trying to disperse an unlawful assembly may attract further punishment.
The section was used for the first time in 1861 by the British Raj, and thereafter became an important tool to stop all nationalist protests during the Indian independence movement, and its use in independent Indian remains controversial as little has changed. It is often used to prevent protests or demonstrations, even the the law doesn't use the terms, though it does mention "riot". The issue was further highlighted following the protests in the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gang rape. When in December, 2012, a special executive magistrate imposed prohibitory orders around India Gate, a popular location for public protests, under the section for up to six months. In January 2013, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to Delhi Police in this regard as as it found the orders contrary to the fundamental rights of citizens.
- Bangladesh Criminal Justice Based on the Country Studies Series by Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress
- Code of Criminal Procedure: Issue Paper on Bangladesh State Protection Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Retrieved: July 01, 2007.
- Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 144
- Role of Criminal Law in the protection of the Environment:Bangladesh context Asian Crime Prevention Foundation. Retrieved: July 01, 2007.
- Dhaka siege: Some unanswered questions The New Age. Retrieved: July 01, 2007.
- "Section 144 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973". Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- "Dissecting Section 144: Have prohibitory orders become a tool used in daily police work?". Economic Times. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- "HC issues notice to police on Section 144 of CrPc at India Gate". The Hindu, Business Line. January 8, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
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