The section states as to who can be said to be a member of an unlawful assembly. It says that whoever intentionally joins an unlawful assembly or continues in it, being aware of facts which render such assembly an unlawful assembly, is said to be a member of an unlawful assembly. Intentional joining or continuing is necessary and that too when the offender knows that because of certain facts the assembly has become an unlawful assembly.
The word “continues” means that member remains physically present as a member of such assembly. An assembly may initially have been harmless, but once it turns unlawful because of the presence of common object as enumerated under any clause of section 141, one who remains in it as a member ‘continues’ being so, and is thus a member of unlawful assembly.
The presence, for instance, of certain Mohammadans at a place as a protest against Hindus taking procession through an unlicensed route is not unlawful. But once they started chasing them when the Hindus were retreating, they became members of unlawful assembly.
But mere presence at the place of an unlawful assembly as a curious onlooker or an innocent spectator or bystander does not mean that such a person ‘continues’ in the assembly. The reason for this being so is that he does not share the common object of the unlawful assembly. The Supreme Court has rightly held that it is not important to know as to which of the member did what kind of an act; and important thing is whether the assembly had a common object as indicated in section 141 of the Code.