ASSAM RIFLES ACT, 1941
[Act, No. 5 of 1941]
[17th March, 1941]
An Act to provide for the regulation of and the maintenance of discipline in the Assam Rifles.
WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the regulation of and the maintenance of discipline in the Assam Rifles.
It is hereby enacted as follows:--
Section 1. Short title, extent and application
(1) This Act may be called the Assam Rifles Act, 1941.
(2) It extends to1[the whole of India] and applies to all members of the Assam Rifles wherever they may be serving.
|1. Substituted for the words "the whole of Assam" by the Assam Rifles (Amendment) Act, 1962 (30 of 1962) w.e.f 11.09.1962.|
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,--
(1) "active service" means service at outposts, or against hostile tribes or other persons in the field;
(2) "Commandant" or "Assistant Commandant" means a person appointed by the Central Government to be Commandant or an Assistant Commandant of the Assam Rifles;
(3) 1 ["District Magistrate" includes a Deputy Commissioner;]
(4) "rifleman" means a person appointed as such under Section 4-after he has signed the statement in the Schedule in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 4, and includes a rifleman appointed under the Assam Rifles Act, 1920and a Military Police Officer appointed under the Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police Act, 1912, 2 [and a non-combatant appointed as such, whether before or after the commencement of the Assam Rifles (Amendment) Act, 1951;]
(5) "superior officer" means, in relation to any rifleman.--
(a) an officer of a higher class than, or of a higher grade in the same class as himself and
(b) any Assistant Commandant or Commandant;
(6) the expressions "reason to believe", "criminal force", "assault", "fraudulently" and "voluntarily causing hurt" have the meanings assigned to them respectively in the Indian Penal Code.
|1. Substituted by N.E.A. (Reorganisation) A.L.O. 1974 w.e.f 21.01.1972.|
2. Inserted by the Assam Rifles (Amendment) Act, 1951 (34 of 1951) w.e..f 17.05.1951.
Section 3. General superintendence and control of the force
General superintendence and control of the Assam Rifles shall be exercised by such person or authority as the Central Government may appoint in this behalf, and, in the exercise of such superintendence and control, the person or authority so appointed shall be governed by such rules and orders as the Central Government may make in this behalf.
Section 4. Appointment and discharge
(1) The appointment of all riflemen shall rest with the Commandant.
(2) Before any person is appointed to be a rifleman, the statement in the Schedule shall be read and if necessary explained to him in the presence of a Magistrate, Commandant or Assistant Commandant, and shall be signed by him in acknowledgment of its having been so read to him.
(3) A rifleman shall not be entitled to be discharged except in accordance with the terms of the statement which he has signed under this Act or under the Assam Rifles Act, 1920.
Section 5. Classes and rank
(1) There may be all or any of the classes of riflemen specified in the table hereunder, namely: -
(i) Subadars-Major. (ii) Subadars. (iii) Jemadars and Transport Jemadars. (iv) Havildars-Major. (v) Havildars and Defadars. (vi) Nalbands. (vii) Naiks. (viii) Lance Naiks. (ix) Buglers, riflemen and mule drivers.
(i) Hospital attendants. (ii) Cooks. (iii) Water-earners. (iv) Cart-men. (v) Range-warders. (vi) Barbers. (vii) Washer men. (viii) Sweepers.
and such grades in each class as the Central Government may from time to time direct.
(2) The person specified in column I of the table in sub-section (1) shall take rank in the order mentioned in that column.
Section 6. Heinous offences
A rifleman who--
(a) begins, excites, causes or joins in any mutiny or being present at any mutiny does not use his utmost endeavours to suppress it, or knowing or having reason to believe in the existence of any mutiny does not without delay give information thereof to his Commanding or other superior officer; or
(b) uses, or attempts to use, criminal force to, or commits an assault on his superior officer, knowing or having reason to believe him to be such, whether on or off duty, or
(c) shamefully abandons or delivers up any garrison, fortress, post or guard which is committed to his charge or which it is his duty to defend; or
(d) in the presence of an enemy or of any person in arms against whom it is his duty to act, shamefully casts away his arms or his ammunition, intentionally uses words or any other means to induce any other rifleman to abstain from acting against the enemy, or to discourage any other rifleman from acting against the enemy; or
(e) directly or indirectly holds correspondence with, or communicates intelligence to, or assists or relieves any person in arms against the State, or omits to discover immediately to his Commanding or other superior officer arty such correspondence or communications coming to his knowledge; or
(f) directly or indirectly assists or relieves with money, victuals or ammunition, or knowingly harbours or protects, any enemy or person in arms against the State;
or who while on active service,--
(g) disobeys the lawful command of his superior officer; or
(h) deserts or attempts to desert the service; or
(i) being a sentry, sleeps upon his post, or quits it without being regularly relieved or without leave; or
(j) leaves his Commanding Officer, or his post or party, to go in search of plunder; or
(k) quits his guard, piquet, party or patrol without being regularly relieved or without leave, or
(l) uses criminal force to, or commits an assault on, any person bringing provisions or other necessaries to camp or quarters, or forces a safeguard, or breaks into any house or other place for plunder, or plunders, destroys or damages any property of any kind; or
(m) intentionally causes or spreads a false alarm in action or in camp, garrison or quarters;
shall be punished with transportation for life, or with imprisonment which may extend to fourteen years, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both such imprisonment and fine.
Section 7. Other offences including acts prejudicial to good order and discipline
A rifleman who--
(a) is in a state of intoxication when on or detailed for any duty, or on parade, or on the line of march, or
(b) strikes, or forces or attempts to force, any sentry; or
(c) being in command of a guard, piquet or patrol, refuses to receive any prisoner duly committed to his charge, or whether in such command or not, releases any prisoner without proper authority or negligently suffers any prisoner to escape-, or
(d) being deputed to any guard, piquet or patrol, quits it without being regularly relieved or without leave, or
(e) being in command of a guard, piquet or patrol, permits gambling or other behaviour prejudicial to good order and discipline, or
(f) being under arrest or in confinement, leaves his arrest or confinement before he is set at liberty by proper authority, or
(g) is grossly insubordinate or insolent to his superior officer in the execution of his office; or
(h) refuses to superintend or assist in the making of any field work or other military work of any description ordered to be made either in quarters or in the field, or
(i) strikes or otherwise ill uses any rifleman subordinate to him in rank or position, or
(j) being in command at any post or on the march and receiving a complaint that any one under his command has beaten or otherwise maltreated or oppressed any person, or has committed any riot or trespass, fails, on proof of the truth of the complaint, to have due reparation made as far as possible to the injured person and to report the case to the proper authority; or
(k) designedly or through neglect injures or loses or fraudulently or without due authority disposes of his arms, clothes, tools, equipment, ammunition, accoutrements or other necessaries, or any such articles entrusted to him or belonging to any other person; or
(l) malingers, feigns or produces disease or infirmity in himself, or intentionally delays his cure, or aggravates his disease or infirmity;
(m) with intent to render himself or any other person unfit for service, voluntarily causes hurt to himself or any other person; or
(n) commits extortion, or without proper authority exacts from any person carriage, porterage, or provisions; or
(o) designedly or through neglect kills, injures, makes away with ill-treats or loses his horse, or any animal used in the public service;
or who, while not on active service,-
(p) disobeys any lawful command of his superior officer; or
(q) plunders, destroys or damages any property of any kind; or
(r) being a sentry, sleeps upon his post, or quits it without being regularly relieved or without leave, or
(s) deserts or attempts to desert the service; or
(t) neglects to obey any battalion or other orders, or commits any act or omission prejudicial to good order and discipline such act or omission not constituting an offence under the Indian Penal Code-or other Act in force in Assam.
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both.
Section 8. Minor offences and punishment
(1) District Magistrate or a Commandant, or subject to the control of the Commandant, an Assistant Commandant, or subject to the control of the Commandant an officer not below the rank of a Jemadar commanding a separate detachment or an outpost or in temporary command at the headquarters of a District during the absence of the District Magistrate, Commandant and Assistant Commandant may, without a formal trial, award to any rifleman below the rank of a Naik, who is subject to his authority, any of the following punishments for the commission of any petty offence against the discipline, which is not otherwise provided for in this act, or which is not of a sufficiently serious nature to call for prosecution before a criminal court, that is to say,--
(a) imprisonment in the Quarter Guard, or such other place as may be considered suitable, for a term which may extend to twenty-eight days when the order is passed by a District Magistrate or a Commandant1[or an Assistant Commandant] or to seven days when it is passed by any other officer;
(b) punishment drill, extra guard, fatigue or other duty, not exceeding twenty-eight days in duration, with or without confinement to lines;
(c) forfeiture of pay and .allowances for a period not exceeding twenty-eight days.
(2) Any of the punishments specified in sub-section (1) may be awarded separately or in combination with any one or more of the others, but no award or awards including imprisonment and confinement to lines shall exceed twenty-eight consecutive days.
|1. Inserted by the Assam Rifles (Amendment) Act, 1958 (48 of 1958) w.e.f 26.12.1958.|
Section 9. Manner of imprisonment
Any rifleman sentenced under this Act to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months shall, when he is also dismissed from the Assam Rifles, be imprisoned in a civil Jail, but when he is not also dismissed from the Assam Rifles he may, if the convicting Court or the District Magistrate so directs, be confined in the Quarter Guard or such other place as the Court or Magistrate may consider suitable.
Section 10. Privileges of, and protection for acts done by, Commandant, Assistant Commandant, etc
(1) A Commandant, Assistant Commandant or rifleman shall be entitled to all the privileges which a police officer has under section 125 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and any other enactment for the time being in force.
(2) In any suit or proceeding against a Commandant, Assistant Commandant or rifleman for any act done by him in pursuance of a warrant or order of a competent authority, it shall be lawful for him to plead that such act was done by him under the authority of such warrant or order.
(3) Any such plea may be proved by the production of the warrant or order directing the act, and if it is so proved, the Commandant, Assistant Commandant or rifleman, as the case may be, shall thereupon be discharged from liability in respect of the act so done by him, notwithstanding any defect in the jurisdiction of the authority which issued such warrant or order.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, any legal proceeding (whether civil or criminal) which may lawfully be brought against a Commandant, Assistant Commandant or rifleman for anything done or intended to be done under the powers conferred by, or in pursuance of, any provision of this Act or the orders or rules made there under, shall be commenced within three months after the act complained of was committed and not otherwise, and notice in writing of such proceeding and of the cause thereof shall be given, where the defendant is a rifleman, to his superior officer, and in other cases, to the defendant, at least one month before the commencement of such proceeding.
Section 10A. Powers and duties that may be conferred or Imposed by the Central Government on Commandant, Assistant Commandant, etc.
(1) The Central Government may, by general or special order, confer or impose upon any Commandant, Assistant Commandant or rifleman, any of the powers or duties conferred or imposed on a police officer of any class or grade by any law for the time being in force.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, the Central Government may invest any Commandant or Assistant Commandant with the powers of a Magistrate of any class for the purpose of inquiring into or trying any offence committed by a rifleman and punishable under this Act or any offence committed by a rifleman against the person or property of another rifleman or of any person acting with or assisting the Assam Rifles.
Section 11. Members of the Assam Rifles to be deemed part of the Indian Army for certain purposes
For the purposes of sections 128, 130 and 131 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, a Commandant, Assistant Commandant, Subadar Major, Subadar or Jemadar of the Assam Rifles shall be deemed to be an officer; a Havildar-Major, Havildar or Naik shall be deemed to be a non-commissioned officer and a bugler or rifleman shall be deemed to be a soldier of the Indian Army.
Section 12. Power of Central Government to make rules
1[(l) The Central Government may,2[by notification in the official Gazette,] as regards the Assam Rifles, make such orders and rules' consistent with this Act, as it thinks expedient, relative to the several matters respecting which the Inspector General of Police, with the approval of the State Government, may, as regards the Police Force, frame orders and rules under section 12 of the Police Act, 1861.
(2) Every order and every rule made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised on one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the order or rule, or both Houses agree that the order or rule should not be made, the order or rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, hat any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that order or rule.]
|1. Section 12 renumbered as sub-section (1), and after sub-section (1) so renumbered, sub-section (2) inserted by the Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act (4 of l986) w.e.f 15.05.1986.|
2. Inserted by the Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act (4 of l986) w.e.f 15.05.1986.
Section 13. Cessation of Assam Act 1 of 1920 and of appointment of riflemen as police officers
The Assam Rifles Act, 1920, shall cease to apply to the Assam Rifles and to riflemen, and all riflemen shall, on the commencement of this Act, cease to be police officers under the Police Act. 1861.