Section 141 Unlawful Assembly

February 7, 2023

Ram Bilas Singh v. State of Bihar (1964)

JUDGEMENT: The assembly should at least be of 5 persons or more.

The Supreme Court in interpreting the said section in the case of Ram Bilas Singh v. State of Bihar, 1964 Cr LJ 673 (SC),stated that when due to the acquittal of some of the person for any reason, the number of persons for the trial reduces from 5 then the charges under section 141 cannot be attracted. However, when there is clear indication in the case that there are some more unidentified persons involved then the section becomes applicable. The Court further laid down that: “it is competent to a court to come to the conclusion that there was an unlawful assembly of five or more persons, even if less than that number have been convicted by it if:

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(i) the charge states that apart from the persons named, several other unidentified persons were also members of the unlawful assembly whose common object was to commit an unlawful act

(ii) or that the first information report and evidence shows such to be the case even though the charge does not state so  (iii) or that though the charge and prosecution witnesses named only the acquitted and the convicted accused persons there is other evidence which discloses the existence of named or other persons”

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