Legality of breach of peace with case laws, examples and provisions

By admin Dec16,2023

This article is written by Pruthvi Ramakanta Hegde. This article emphasises on the legality and essentials of breach of peace, governing laws, different global conventions, and different judicial judgments.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.

In our human community peace is like a strong base that holds everything together. People feel happy and safe when there is peace. Peace reflects that everything is calm and quiet. When societal friendships and harmony get disturbed, leading to conflicts and actions that make others unsafe and feel threatened, there arises the aspect of a breach of peace. In such circumstances, it is essential to regulate such violence and restore peace by implementing rules and regulations. In this regard, the law plays a crucial role in uplifting peace and tranquillity by providing necessary structure to address breach of peace and to chart a path back to harmony and coexistence.

Breach of peace is not defined explicitly under any statute in India. However, the Indian Penal Code 1860, the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, and other statutes contain provisions relating to offences and situations that can result in a breach of peace. Breach of peace, in general terms, refers to legal discourse to describe a situation where peace, order, and public and private tranquillity are disrupted.

For instance, two neighbours called A and B start arguing loudly about a property boundary dispute. At first, it starts with mean words, but soon they shout and make scary gestures. This situation where everyone in the neighbourhood feels threatened and unsafe can be considered a breach of peace.

In India, several laws deal with the breach of peace. These laws are primarily aimed at maintaining public order and ensuring the safety and security of citizens. Some of the key laws and provisions related to breach of peace in India are:

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Unlawful assembly 

Under Section 141, when five or more individuals come together for a common purpose that has the potential to cause a disturbance of peace or instil a fear of violence in society, that constitutes an offence as it violates the peace. 

In order to constitute unlawful assembly under Section 141, the act must fall under the following categories:

  • The assembly must have five or more people gathered together. If it is less than five, it cannot be categorised under this Section. 
  • The assembly must have a common object that may not be unlawful in nature. A common objective is what members of the assembly collectively do through their actions. The object can be illegal, like committing a crime, or legal, like protesting in a peaceful manner. However, if the common object turns unlawful at any point during the assembly course of action, it still falls under the purview of this Section. 
  • The assembly members must have the criminal intent to commit an offence or unlawful object.
  • Every member of the assembly must be aware of the common object and consent to it.

For instance, when a group of five or more persons join together without authorization with the intention to protest but subsequently result in public disruption or violence, it can be regarded as an unlawful assembly.

Rioting 

Under Section 146, which defines what amounts to rioting as when a group of people engage in unlawful assembly or its members use force or  violence to achieve a common purpose, every member of that assembly is considered guilty of causing such an offence. This usually involves damaging the property, setting fires, and creating chaos that disrupts the peace of the community.

For instance, if a large group of people were gathering on the public road to conduct peaceful protests, but all of a sudden they were smashing the windows of the shops or setting fire to a bus or car with the intention to cause fear or disruption of the peace of society, this would be constituted as rioting under this Section.

Affray

Under Section 159 of the Indian Penal Code, affray is considered an offence when two or more people fight each other, which causes a breach of public peace.

For instance, if A and B fight each other in a public place by throwing punches at each other in the fight, that would disturb the public peace and constitute affray under this Section. In State v. Meer Singh (2012), three people got into a fight in a public place, which caused trouble and disrupted public peace. The Court found the accused persons guilty under Section 160 of the Indian Penal Code. 

Criminal intimidation 

Under Section 503 of the Code, criminal intimidation occurs when someone threatens another person with the intent to:

  • Harm their body, reputation, or property.
  • Cause fear or alarm in the person
  • Make the person do something illegal or against the law.
  • Prevent the person from doing something required by the law.

This behaviour disrupts public peace and order and raises alarm in the individual.

Intentional insults

Under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code, intentional insults are defined as if someone deliberately insults another person, knowing it might make them do something to disrupt public peace or commit any other crime. 

For instance, two neighbours, Mr. A and Mr. B, have a heated argument over a property dispute. Mr. A intentionally and repeatedly insults Mr. B, knowing this might make Mr. B lose his temper and potentially engage in a physical fight, disturbing the peace of their neighbourhood. In this case, if Mr. A’s insults are proven to be intentional and weigh knowledge that they could provoke Mr. B to breach public peace, he could be charged under this section.

Criminal Intimidation with additional element of grievous hurt and a threat to life

Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code states that if threats involve causing death, hurt, or any other serious harm, the punishment can be more severe. Individuals involved in such actions would typically disrupt the breach of peace. Whoever commits such offence shall be punished with imprisonment, which may be extended to two years, a fine, or both.

Criminal Procedure Code 1973

Prohibitory orders to prevent breach of peace

Under Section 144, the magistrate has the power to issue an order called a prohibitory order. When they believe that there is a substantial risk of breach of peace in a specific area. A prohibitory order can be issued by restricting prohibitions on assembling, carrying weapons, and attending public gatherings. In Babulal Parate v. State of Maharashtra and Others (1961), an order was made under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows the authorities to impose restrictions during emergencies to maintain public order. The case was about two textile workers in Nagpur; there was a dispute between them. The district magistrate issued an order under Section 144 to prevent potential disturbances and maintain peace. This order restricted activities like public gatherings and processions. Hence, the petitioner argued that the order violated fundamental rights, particularly the right to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed under the Constitution of India, 1950. The Honourable Supreme Court examined this order and upheld the order. The Court held that  Section 144 didn’t infringe on fundamental rights, but it protected public safety and order. 

Disputes concerning land and water is likely to cause breach of peace 

Section 145 prescribes the procedure for breach of peace related to land and water disputes. The main purpose is to maintain the peace and safety of the public. In such circumstances, the magistrate has the power to take the appropriate action to prevent such a breach. When an executive magistrate is reported by the police or other source regarding such a dispute, the magistrate has the duty to conduct the investigation under this section. In cases where immediate violence might erupt, the magistrate is empowered to take control of the disputed property. In Sukhdev v. Kalaram (2021), there was a dispute over the possession of the land. The Court held that under Sections 145 and  Section 146 of the Criminal Procedure Code, if there is a dispute concerning the land and water that might cause a breach of peace, the sub divisional magistrate or executive magistrate is empowered under this Section to examine the matter and determine who is currently in possession of the disputed property. In Nirottam Singh and others v. State of U.P. (2021), the case highlighted that Section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code is invoked when there is a property dispute that has the potential to disrupt the peace.

Security for keeping the peace 

Under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code, if someone is suspected of potentially causing trouble or breaching the peace, a magistrate can require them to provide a bond as a legal promise to keep the peace. This means they must promise to behave peacefully and not cause any problems. 

For instance, if someone has a history of fights, the magistrate might require them to promise to stay out of trouble during a curtain period.

Indian Police Act, 1861 

Section 31 of the Indian Police Act 1861 empowers the police officer to take specific measures to maintain public order and prevent the breach of peace in public places.

Section 34 of the said Act empowers the police with the authority to prohibit the carrying of weapons and disorderly behaviour in public places.

Civil law remedies 

In cases of breach of peace, the aggrieved party can initiate a civil lawsuit in a competent civil court. In this lawsuit, they can seek various remedies, such as:

  • Damages (financial compensation)- the damages are typically financial compensation that the court orders another party to pay as compensation for loss or harm caused. 
  • Injunctions orders- An injunction is a court order that restricts a person from doing something. It can be temporary relief or permanent, depending on the facts of each case. 

For instance, residents can seek an injunction order from the neighbourhood that causes extensive noise at night that disrupts their peaceful sleep and well being.

  • Specific performance – This remedy is used when money alone cannot adequately compensate for the damage. The court orders that the party in breach has to perform a specific performance or obligation they had agreed to in the contract. 

For instance, if a nightclub in a residential area continuously violates the noise regulations as agreed on in the licensing agreements, the court can issue a specific performance to adhere to those mentioned in the agreement as it disrupts the peace and well being of the community. 

  • The court can issue other reliefs as appropriate to the situation by considering the factum of each case in civil nature.
  • Breach of public peace typically involves disturbance of public peace, order, and tranquillity. It is not merely a private dispute between the individuals; an action or behaviour must affect a larger group or general public. The place of breach must be public and not in private spaces.
  • The behaviour or action causing the breach of peace is unlawful, disruptive, or potentially dangerous. 
  • In many cases, there should be an intent or knowledge on the part of those involved that their actions are likely to disrupt the peace.

Situations that are not typically considered as breach of peace

In order to constitute an action as a breach of peace, it must disrupt the peace. In this regard, the following situations are not considered as breach of peace:

  • Peaceful gatherings, protests, or demonstrations where the participant exercises their right to free speech and assembly within the ambit of law are not considered a breach of peace as they do not cause disruptions to peace.
  • Playing music at reasonable levels, within the ambit of local noise ordinances and community norms. It is a common and lawful activity that typically does not disturb public order or tranquillity.
  • Labour strikes and protests that follow the legal procedure and do not disrupt public peace or safety.
  • Verbal disagreements or arguments between individuals that do not escalate into threats, harassment, or violent actions are usually not considered a breach of peace. 
  • Apprehension of a breach of peace does not constitute a breach of peace; instead, there must be a reasonable likelihood of a breach of peace.

The liability for breach of peace is not found explicitly under any statute in India. They can be understood with different aligned offences. 

Indian Penal Code 1860

Section 143 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes the punishment for unlawful assembly that involves gathering five or more people with a common intention that is likely to disrupt public tranquillity. The Section states that members of an unlawful assembly shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to six months, or a court may impose a fine, or both can be imposed. 

Similarly, Section 147 prescribes the punishment for rioting. It states that the person found guilty of rioting shall be punished with imprisonment that may extend up to two years, a fine that can be imposed, or both. 

Section 504 prescribes the punishment for intentional insults. Accordingly, whoever is found guilty of committing intentional insults that provoke the breach of peace is punished with imprisonment, which may extend up to two years, a fine, or both. 

Breach of Peace in violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution 1950

A breach of peace can involve disturbance, violence, and disturb public tranquillity, as well as disrupt individual peace. On the other hand, every individual has the fundamental right to life and personal liberty confirmed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. This article emphasises that no one can be deprived of their life or freedom except through lawful procedures. When a breach of peace occurs, it involves the action that causes fear to the individual’s life or personal liberty without following proper legal procedures. 

Public nuisances leads to breach of peace

Public nuisances involve actions or conditions that interfere with the reasonable use and enjoyment of public places or properties. This can include creating excessive noise, causing offensive odour, obstructing public pathways, or engaging in activities that disrupt public comfort or safety. Whereas breach of peace typically refers to action or behaviour that affects public peace and security. Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code defines public nuisances as an act that causes injury, annoyance, and danger to the public or people in general. 

For instance, obstructing the public, setting fire, creating unnecessary noise, excessive noise, or obstructing roads can escalate into a situation like fighting that will violate the breach of peace. 

There are several international treaties that address the promotion of global peace and the prevention of breach of peace. Some of the major global peace conventions are:

The Egyptian – Hittite Peace Treaty 

The Egyptian – Hittite Peace Treaty was a very old agreement between two powerful leaders, Pharaoh Ramesses II of Egypt and King Hattusili III of the Hittites. They signed it around 1259 BC, after many years of fighting, including the famous Battle of Kadesh. This treaty is known as the oldest peace treaty that still exists today. They have both the slide versions of it; they wrote it on a silver tablet using their own language, and they put copies of it in their temples. This treaty listed peace and friendship between two kingdoms. They promised to help each other if there were any outside threats. Archaeologists found this treaty a long time ago, and now it is kept at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to show how countries can work together for peace.

United Nations Charter

The United Nations Charter is the founding document of the United Nations Organization, established in 1945. Important Articles under the UN Charter that highlight aspects of breach of peace are as follows:

Article 1 of the Charter prescribes the main purpose of this convention, that is, to maintain international peace and security. Further stated is the need to foster friendly relations with nations founded on the principles of equal rights and self-determination, and to take appropriate actions to safeguard worldwide peace.

Article 2(4) states that it prohibits the use of force or threat of force by member states against each other. It emphasises the principle of non -interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and further contends that disputes need to be resolved amicably.

Article 24 states that the security council has the primary duty to maintain international peace and security. It requires the council to take suitable actions to prevent and suppress the breach of peace, including using force if necessary.

Article 33 encourages the member countries to solve international disputes through effective settlement by opting for negotiation, mediation, or other effective peace means. It promotes diplomacy as the way to solve disputes. 

Article 34 empowers the security council to investigate any dispute or situation that might lead to international conflict. It can recommend suitable methods or procedures for resolving  disputes. 

Article 39 states that the security council will decide if there is a threat to peace, a breach of peace, or an act of aggression whenever there’s a threat to international peace and security if the breach of peace occurs. They will then recommend or decide on actions to take under 

Article 41 and Article 42 to keep or bring back international peace and security. This can include the armed forces taking action to bring back international peace and security.

Article 51 recognises the inherent rights of individual or collective self defence in the event of an armed attack. It allows member states to use force in self defence until the security council can take the necessary actions.

Article 52 of the UN Charter says that counties in a particular region can work together through regional organisations in their area. That extinguishes the idea that countries in  different parts of the world, like the African Union or the European Union, can work together to promote peace and security in their regions. The UN Charter is a comprehensive document that emphasises the breach of peace through diplomacy, collective cooperation, and security measures. It establishes the global framework for maintaining international peace and tranquillity. 

Geneva Convention

The Geneva Conventions are the rules that countries agree to follow during wars and armed conflicts. These rules protect the people who are not taking part in the fighting, like civilians, wounded or sick people, and prisoners of war. They say that nobody can hurt or threaten these people, and no one can do anything that disrupts the peace during the war. The first Geneva Convention was signed in 1864. The second Geneva Convention was adopted in 1949. 

Treaty on Non Proloferation Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

The Treaty on Non Proloferation Nuclear Weapons was adopted in 1968. The different countries promise not to spread nuclear weapons to other countries. Further, they agreed to work together peacefully on nuclear energy. The main agenda of the NPT is to keep the peace and reduce the chance of war. The treaty establishes a system in which countries use  nuclear energy safely without causing any danger to other countries. It is the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This treaty has mentioned that five countries can have nuclear weapons, which include China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. However, this treaty puts an obligation on those countries to effectively stop the use of nuclear weapons. 

Convention on Prohibition of Development, production,  and Stockpiling Use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention, established in 1933, is like a global agreement. It states that countries cannot create, make, store, give away, or use chemical weapons anymore. Instead, they have to get rid of them. The treaty also sets up a way to make sure countries follow these rules, and there’s an international organisation (the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) that helps make it all happen. The main purpose of the CWC is to completely get rid of a dangerous kind of weapon and make the world safer. 

The Global Peace Convention 

The Global Peace Convention is a gathering that happens every two years. It brings together experts in politics, education, and civil society, among others, to share their ideas and come up with plans for making the world more peaceful. They talk about things like education, helping young people and women, and building businesses that do good for society. One important thing they focus on is trying to bring North and South Korea closer and create a united Korea. They think this can be a good example for other places where there’s a conflict. People from different countries like Korea, the United States, Japan, and more come together to discuss how to make this happen and also look at issues like security, economics, and human rights for the Korean people. 

The Hague Convention 

The Hague Convention was introduced in 1899 and 1907, including provisions aimed at mitigating armed conflicts. They address issues like the use of certain types of weaponry to treat civilians in occupied territories and the rule of engagement in warfare. One of the primary purposes of the Hague Convention is to limit the methods and means of warfare, particularly protecting the interests of civilians. This Convention plays a pivotal role in the human treatment of individuals affected by war and limits the brutality of conflicts. 

The Kellogg – Briand Pact

The Kellogg – Briand Pact, also called the Pact of Paris, was introduced in 1928. The main purpose of the treaty is to settle international disputes and renounce war. The Pact represented a significant departure from the traditional notion that war was an acceptable tool of diplomacy. Instead, the disputes between the nations must be resolved through peaceful settlement. It was a precursor to the UN Charter, which aimed to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The principle of the Pact is to renounce the war, which was incorporated into the UN Charter. The Pact encourages settlement methods like negotiation and mediation. It aims to create diplomatic cooperation that takes more weightage than armed conflict.

Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

The Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted in 1948. The convention seeks to prevent and punish genocide, which is considered a  threat to international peace and security. The treaty was created in response to the horrors of genocide caused during the Second World War. Particularly with respect to the Holocaust, and it seeks to prevent and punish the acts of genocide that were considered dangerous to international peace and security.

Biological Weapons Convention

The Biological Weapons Convention was adopted in 1972 and prohibits the production, acquisition, and development of biological weapons, promoting peace by preventing the use of these deadly agents. Biological weapons can be very dangerous. They involve harmful microorganisms and toxins that are dangerous to people and animals. The primary goal of the BWC is to ensure global peace and security by banning the use of these harmful weapons. Countries that are parties to this convention commit to transparency measures, including sharing information.

United Nations Convention on Law of Sea

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is an important global treaty that was agreed upon in 1982. After 10 years of negotiations, it came into effect in 1994. It is often called the constitution for the oceans. It sets the rules for the use of oceans by regulating the rights and responsibilities of the countries. UNICLOS creates a legal framework that covers everything that happens in the world’s oceans and seas, including shipping, fishing, scientific research, and extracting oil, minerals, and others. It is also designed to ensure that countries engage in peaceful use and share the different parts of the ocean and their valuable resources. 

Arms Trade Treaty 

The Arms Trade Treaty was adopted in 2013 at the United Nations General Assembly. The main purpose of this treaty is to establish common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms. It seeks to regulate illicit markets and conflict zones, thereby promoting transparency, responsibility, and accountability in global markets.

Antarctica Treaty 

The Antarctic Treaty was adopted and signed in 1959. It came into force in 1961. It is directly linked to the promotion of peace and international cooperation. The treaty discusses the following:

  • Preventing military activity- The treaty explicitly prohibits military activity in Antarctica. By doing so, it establishes the continent as a demilitarised zone and remains free from potential conflicts associated with military operations.
  • Fostering scientific research- The primary purpose of this treaty is to promote scientific research  and cooperation in Antarctica. It designates that contingent as a place for peaceful purposes and encourages the countries to collaborate in scientific activities.  
  • Prohibiting Nuclear Testing- The treaty explicitly prohibits the use or testing of any nuclear weapons and the disposal of nuclear waste. It aims to make Antarctica a nuclear-free zone by contributing to international peace and security.
  • Mineral resource conservation – The treaty addresses the conservation of mineral resources. While it does not explicitly ban mineral mining, it establishes the framework for the responsible management of mineral resources. This helps to prevent disputes over the excess exploitation of resources, thus promoting peace.
  • Consultative mechanism – The treaty involves the aspect of consultative mechanism. Where member countries meet and coordinate their activities in Antarctica. This mechanism promotes peaceful negotiations, transparency, and cooperation between the nations.
  • M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1986), this case is also called the Oleum gas leakage case; it is one of the notable cases in India. Advocate MC Mehta, an environmental activist filed this case against Shriram Food and Fertiliser. On December 4, 1985, just one month after the petition was filed, a significant oleum gas leakage occurred that caused injuries to many people, and many died on account of this incident. That disrupted the peace in society. The Honourable Supreme Court of India delivered the crucial judgement by establishing the Absolute Liability principle. Under this principle, the wrongdoer is held liable without considering the guilty intention and with no exception. The case set the precedent for the protection of the environment, public order, and tranquillity by establishing industrial responsibility. 
  • In the case of Madhu Limaye v. Sub-Divisional Magistrate (1970), the Honourable Supreme Court held that actions that disrupt public peace or cause disturbances should not be narrowly defined but should be broadly understood. The term in the interest of the public has wide scope.
  • In the case of State of Madhya Pradesh v. Baldeo Prasad (1961), the Honourable Supreme Court of India addressed the essential elements of the offence of rioting under Section 147 of the Indian Penal Code and provided crucial insights into what constitutes a breach of peace. In this case there was an incident where a group of individuals was charged with rioting under Section 147 Indian Penal Code. The accused contended that their actions did not amount to rioting or a breach of peace. This case served as an important legal precedent in clarifying the legal aspects surrounding rioting and breach of peace. 

The Supreme Court’s key findings in this case were as follows:

Firstly, the Court clarified that for the offence of rioting under Section 147 of the Indian Penal Code to be established, it is essential to prove that five or more persons had assembled with a common object and their assembly resulted in a breach of peace. More importantly, the common object could be lawful or unlawful, but it must be shared by all participants.

Secondly, the Court emphasised that a common object should be one that necessarily leads to breach of peace. It noted that if the object of the assembly were something lawful and did not involve a breach of peace, the charge of rioting would not stand.

Furthermore, the Court elaborated on the concept of breach of peace. It stated that the expression injury to a person in the context of rioting referred to the actual infliction of injury. In other words, for an assembly to be considered a riot, there must be actual injury or reasonable apprehension of injury to any person. Without this element, the offence of rioting could not be established.

  • In the case of Dudechand v. Manakmal (1951), the Rajasthan High Court addressed the issue of whether a Magistrate could take action under Section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code when there was insufficient evidence to suggest a likelihood of a breach of peace. Section 145 grants a Magistrate the authority to act if there is a potential for a breach of peace related to disputes concerning  land, water, or their boundaries. The court clarified that a criminal court can only exercise jurisdiction under Section 145 when it is satisfied that there is a likelihood of breach of peace. The Magistrate must base this decision on appropriate material. That could include police reports or other information indicating such a likelihood. In this case, the court found that the Magistrate was indeed satisfied with the likelihood of a breach of peace when ensuring the initial order under Section 145(1).
  • In the case of Chirukandath Chandrasekharan and Others v. the State of Kerala (1969)  the Court emphasised that in proceedings under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is essential to determine the legal rights of the parties involved. The Magistrate should not become a tool to disregard the orders of a civil court. the Magistrate expressed wrongful acts that could potentially lead to a breach of peace. However, the court clarified that Section 107 required more than just an apprehension of a possible breach of pace. That magistrate was convinced  that there was an imminent and reasonable likelihood of a breach of peace occuring.
  • In the Srirengam v. Administrative Executive (2018) case, it was emphasised that proceedings under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure can continue even after the period for executing a bond has ended. The court highlighted that the critical aspect is whether there is still a reasonable likelihood of a breach of peace or disturbance of public tranquillity. This means that the proceedings can persist if the potential for a breach of peace remains, even if the bond period has expired. However, the court held that it can consider subsequent events, and if it finds that the danger of a breach of peace has disappeared, it may drop the proceedings. So the main point is that the court focused on the likelihood of a breach of peace when deciding whether these proceedings should continue or be dropped.
  • In the case of Ram Shankar Tewari and another v. the State (2020), and others, the Honourable High Court of Allahabad examined the objective of Section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Court held that Section 145(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code deals with disputes likely to cause a breach of peace concerning any land. The Section does not distinguish whether the land is in the possession of one party or another. It simply focuses on the existence of a land dispute likely to lead to a breach of peace. The primary objective of Section 145 is to prevent a breach of peace. To prevent such breaches of peace, it becomes necessary for the Magistrate to take action. Section 145 aims to maintain peace by ensuring that one party has possession of the disputed land, while both parties are directed to seek a legal resolution in a competent court to decide the title to the land.
  • In Banka Sneha Sheela v. the State of Telangana (2021), the Court discussed the concept of breach of peace and its relation to public order in the context of preventive detention. The Court clarified that not every disturbance or fight leads to a breach of peace or public order. However, if such disruptions involve an individual from the rival community and raise the possibility of communal tension or public unrest, it can be constituted as a breach of public order. The Court emphasised that public order goes beyond mere disturbances and must have the potential to affect the community at large. 
  • In Rajpati v. Bachan (1980) and others, the Supreme Court of India highlighted the aspect of invoking Section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which pertains to disputes concerning land or property that may lead to breach of peace. The court referred to the prior judgement Jayantilal Padmashree Shah v. Chandu Kushaldas Udhwani (1986) which emphasised that a preliminary order under Section 145 can only be issued if the Magistrate is satisfied that disputes likely to cause a breach of peace exist. The Court held the same contention in this case and further held that once a preliminary order outlines the reasons for breach of peace, it is not necessary that breach of peace continue throughout the proceedings.

A breach of peace is a term that entails unlawful, disruptive, or potentially dangerous conduct, often with the intent or knowledge of its potential to disturb the peace. Breach of peace is a wider concept that is regulated under different laws in India. The determination of liability for breach of peace often depends on the nature and circumstances of the facts of each case. The breach of the peace may be civil in nature as well as criminal in nature. The Court will consider the facts of each case while deciding the nature of the case. In many cases, the court has held the view that mere apprehension does not constitute a breach of peace. Understanding the essentials of a breach of peace is crucial for maintaining social harmony and the well-being of communities. Peace upheld by the law and harmony forms the core of a safe and prosperous society benefitting to all. 

  1. Is intent or knowledge an important element for invoking breach of peace?

Intent, or knowledge, is a crucial element for invoking a breach of peace. In the legal term mens rea aspect, the mental state or intention of a person is very important to constitute a breach of peace.

  1. Can a breach of peace occur in private spaces, or is it limited to public spaces?

A breach of peace can occur in both private and public places, although the nature and consequences of such incidents may differ depending on the location.

  1. What is a private and public breach of peace?

A private breach of peace typically occurs within  private premises and does not affect the public at large. Whereas public breaches of peace occur within the premises of public places and disrupt public peace and tranquillity.

  1. Are there any civil remedies available in cases where a breach of peace happens?

There are civil remedies available in cases where a breach of peace occurs. Injunction orders, specific performance, damages, and recovery of property are some of the civil remedies that the court issues in cases where breach of peace occurs.



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