The word “affray” means a tussle or fighting between two or more persons, and there must be a stroke hit or offered, or a weapon drawn. An affray is committed in a public place and strives the terror in the mind of the people. Section 159 of the Indian Penal Code provides that ‘Affray’ is defined as “When two or more persons by way of a brawl in a public place, disturb the public peace, they are said to commit an offence of affray.”
When two or more persons, by scuffling in a public place, disturb the public peace, they are said to “commit an offence of affray”. The offence of affray is only committed when there are two or more persons indulged in fighting, not merely verbal, and the same conduct disturbed the public peace.
Essential ingredients of Affray
An offence of affray can be postulated if it possessed the following:
Indulgence in fighting by two or more persons.
The fight must take place in a public place.
Such fighting must also result in the disturbance of the public peace and atmosphere.
Punishment for committing affray
Whoever commits an offence of affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one month, or liable to pay a fine which may be extended to one hundred rupees, or with both simultaneously.
Characteristics of an Affray
A charge of affray can be put to both sides as accused persons since both the fighting groups have deemed to commit the offence.
The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 has now made it a cognisable offence.
It may be tried by any magistrate and by the jury.
It is a non-compoundable offence.
It is a bailable offence.
State v. Meer Singh
Three men were fighting which results in the disturbance of the peace of that particular locality. It was the admitted case of both the accused persons that they were fighting in a Gali and definitely in such a fight, it was natural that disturbs the public peace and for doing that they have to suffer hence, they put for the conviction under the offence of affray.
Affray is an offence where two or more than two persons are involved and offered a blow to each other in order to prove the majesty over sovereign subject. And committing an offence of affray will be made liable for imprisonment and for the fine or maybe both. There is water-tight difference in common law and Indian law as far as affray is concerned, however, there are some other elements of crime like assault and riot which is different from affray but some of their ingredients seems to be similar in nature.
The offence of affray is, thus, considered as bilateral act means to flow from both directions not involve only one side, in which two or more parties actively participate in scuffle against one another which is conducted at a public place and this results in the turmoil of public peace. It involves an actual fight between the parties to constitute this offence and mere quarrelling and abusing each other would not result in offence of affray. Section 159 of the IPC defines it and Section 160 IPC prescribed the punishment for the offence.
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