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The section confers powers on any Magistrate or officer-in-charge of a police station to use force for the purposes of dispersal of unlawful assemblies. But before such powers are used, he must satisfy himself that (i) the assembly of five or more persons is likely to commit violence or cause disturbance of public peace, (ii) that such assembly needs to be dispersed and (iii) it has not dispersed despite such order having already been passed and warning given to such assembly to disperse.’

The resort to firing for dispersing such unlawful assemblies should be taken in extremely urgent situations. Firing can be used as a measure to disperse such assemblies only on the orders of duly, authorised officers.

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It may be stated that although right to assemble peaceably and without arms has been conferred upon all the citizens under Art. 19 (l)(b) of the Constitution of India, but this right is subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India and maintenance of public peace and order.

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