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Home > Know Your Rights > Right to Assemble
FAQ's | Landmark Judgements | Legal Frameworks


Q1.  What is meant by the right to freedom of assembly?

A1.  Right to freedom of assembly is a fundamental right provided by the Constitution of India to all citizens of India. Under freedom of assembly, people are entitled to gather peaceably with groups of other people to pursue mutual interests and goals.


Q2.  What is the importance of right to freedom of assembly?

A2.  Right to freedom to assemble peacefully gives every citizen the right to interact with each other and discuss issues of public importance. It entitles citizens to voice their problems jointly on issues that affect their day to day lives. It also facilitates the exchange of ideas and information and is good for social interaction in the society. The right to freedom of assembly protects the right to have public meetings and organize protests against government policies or other issues. It is under this right that political parties organize public meetings before elections for campaigning and it is under this right that political activists like Anna Hazare organize rallies against corruption.


Q3.  Are there any conditions to fulfill in order to enjoy my right to assemble?

A3.  The only condition that applies to right to assemble is that the assembly or meeting or protest must be peaceful and without arms. It should not be such that it poses a danger of triggering violence and destruction of life and public property.  As long as people are not inciting violence or creating a clear and present danger, they have the right to gather in groups to exchange information or organize protests.


Q4.  Can the government stop me from exercising my right to assemble?

A4.  Yes, the government can stop any assembly that might turn violent or poses risk to public safety. But if the meeting is completely peaceful, the government may monitor it to gather information for intelligence agencies or in the interests of protecting public safety, but it cannot disperse or break up meetings. Under the law, permits may be required for public meetings as a matter of public safety. People usually pay small fees for the permits and the government is not allowed to reject permits in the grounds of an organization's beliefs.


Q5.  When can the right to freedom of assembly be restricted?

A5.  Right to freedom of assembly is not an absolute right. It can be restricted if the meeting or protest poses the danger of turning violent. Also, the right can be restricted during the operation of a National Emergency in the country due to war or armed rebellion or a State Emergency imposed by the state government. Another restriction on the right to assemble is during the curfew imposed in the area where the meeting is to be held.


Q6.  What if my right to freedom to assemble peacefully is infringed?

A6.  Right to freedom of assembly peacefully is a fundamental right. If it is illegally violated by anyone then you can directly approach the Supreme Court of India and pray for an appropriate writ. Any violation of any of your Fundamental right by any Government agency or any individual can be directly taken to the Supreme Court of India or High Court of the state in which you reside. You need to seek the help of a lawyer to approach the court. The court will also arrange for free legal aid if you are not in a position to afford the cost of trial. For any further information, you can visit the website of the Supreme Court of India (www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in)

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