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The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908

The Act is named as “The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908”. It extends to whole of India and also to Assam and territories incorporated immediately before 1st November 1956 in states of West Bengal and thus, the State Government can bring any of such territories whole or in part under the administration to which the Act extends, except territories incorporated before 1st November 1956 in part B states. For the act “Unlawful Association is any association which push or boost persons to perform acts which are violent or menacing or any such act which person constantly perform or acts which are declared unlawful by the State Government”.

Here, the State Government thinks that any association which interferes with public peace or endanger the public life or where the question is to maintain law and order then by notification in official Gazette declare the association as “Unlawful Assembly”. When notification in Gazette is declared Government has to specify the ground or has to give reason for declaring “Unlawful Association” and such declaration must be for specific time or it is fixed for reasonable period.  Once notification is made there is an “Advisory Board” which is appointed. This Board modify or can even cancel the notification. It’s up to State Government to appoint one or more than one advisory board. This board shall constitute with judges of High Court among which one will be Chairman and all this members of the board are appointed by State Government.

After taking all points into consideration the board prepare the “Report”. This report will constitute the opinion of the board that whether to ‘grant’ the notification for association or to ‘cancel’ it. The board extract particular points in report to Government, and with that it helps or gives sufficient cause whether to allow or cancel the notification regarding “Unlawful Association”.

Once with the help of Advisory Board if, the notification is granted then any person who is involved in or any person who contribute for such association, or make any damage in such association then such person is punished with imprisonment for term which can extend to six months or fine or both. In such way any person who assists, manages, or promotes the meetings of all unlawful association is punished with imprisonment for term which can extend to three years or fine or both. All offence above mentioned are observed by police and thus has to apply with “Criminal Procedure Code, 1973”.

After notification authorised person like Commissioner of Police or by order of District Magistrate the place which in there opinion feel that unlawful association take place then such place is taken into possession and report of such is send to State Government. For this act place can be, ‘building, any part or vessel’. But if any such building or apartment women or children are already staying then utmost care is taken and try that least inconvenience is happened to take them out of that apartment. In such place if authorised person found any property i.e., movable or immovable then it has to be taken  in custody and should make list of such items and send it to State Government. While above procedure is followed and if any person who enters in that notified place without the permission of Commissioner of Police or District Magistrate then it assumed that, person is committing criminal trespass. Before the period of notification is expired State Government with general or specific direction with proper regulation abandons the possession of notified place.

State Government after proper inquiry is done and is satisfied that money, securities, or credits that are assumed to be used for unlawful association, then by order and in writing State Government can declare such money, securities or any credits to be forfeited, and copy of such is send to person who is in custody of such money, securities or credits and after receiving the copy only he shall handover all the moneys, securities.

Hence, the Act takes proper care of public its life and interest so they are safe and also it does not promote any such unlawful acts which will constitute any bad association.

by Samata. H. Joshi