Dispute in Public to Dispute in Courtrooms : An Inadequate Juncture

This Research Paper is written by Divij Barolia, a Second Year LL.B Student at IME Law College, CCS University.

“Resolving your issues in the streets will give you mental satisfaction and resolving them in the courtroom will give you moral respect.”


Contention in public to contention in the courtroom itself defines its meaning and purpose. Every matter that is started in streets may not end in the courtroom some of the disputes are resolved on the streets itself while only minority of them reaches to court because of 43.55 lakhs of pending cases it is considered as a snail crawling process even some of the cases take a decade to get their judgments sometimes even more than a decade. Afterwards all this, people still have hope in the judiciary that one day they will get justice served. According to the laws of IPC fight in public is termed as an offence under section 159 and 160 with the punishment of fine Rs 100 or one-month imprisonment or both but on the ground level these are very common things and usually happens majorly ( offence not considered consequential ) if the party no hurt. Fights/disputes happen for many reasons but as per the guidelines of constitution and laws of Indian penal Code, it becomes the matter of courtroom hearing and should be fought in court to get things done in a right manner for favourable results/judgements. Constitution of India and laws are two way both the sides are given equal and uniform opportunities to present their point with maximum efforts they can make to take the judgments in their favour with keeping the thought of justice and injustice in their minds, whether a story or case both have two aspects like a coin and two of them should be presented in the court of justice to get the commendatory judgment. Justice system has a 1000s of years of history starting from the old and substandard methods with the up-gradation and years of evolution we have reached here in the upcoming future this shall too revamp.


The legal/judicial system in the world has originated since the ancient world and has 1000s years of evolution and up-gradation. If we talk about the ancient world when kings of different countries and states who ruled their kingdoms take account of punishing the guilty in any offence.  At the end of 12th century, a method called a method of trial by ordeal was used that was a barbaric method in which an accused was forced to pick up a hot bar of iron pluck a stone out of a pot of boiling water or something alternatively painful/brutal and results were seen after 3 days, if hand begun to heal the person proved as a god in its side thus innocent if not then guilty and have to go through the punishment whatever the king accords. Another trial system of the ancient era was to throw the accused in the water if he/she sinks then innocent. But due to discrepancies and inappropriateness in these tests, they were banned by William 2 because 50 men who killed the deer had passed this test. [1]

Rise of Modern Day Justice System

The earliest judges back in the 12th century were the people who advised kings in taking legal decisions over disputes. A panel of 12 judges was appointed back then. The seeds of the modern-day justice system were sown by Henry 2. Changes in the system have evolved slowly even in the middle of the 14th century there was a collaboration between the king and judges.

After the discrepancies in the previous system, fighting for freedom and sowing the seeds of change in 1217 Martin De Pateshull, Archdeacon of Norfolk and Dean of St Paul’s became the first justice of the bench, also he was considered as the finest lawyer of his time. This was one of the revolutionary steps taken and was required as it’s good to have experienced professionals in the field.

Even then the judiciary was corrupted and accused with bribery. In 1346 judges were strictly instructed that they would never accept any gift or benefit from any party involved in litigation and would not give any advice to anyone involved even if the king was involved. To prevent bribery salaries of judges were increased but that didn’t actually help when King William De Thorpe was sentenced to death for bribery he disobeyed the order and later demoted from the throne.

The system of the courtroom in the world has a great history starting from late 12th century then many things happened in this field. It evolved through many phases throughout its journey once it clashed with politics when judges got involved in politics and favouring only themselves ( being a part of that union ).

Big Change in System

After 1830 a change came to 300-year-old courts by the law terms act of the year, the court of great sessions and welsh counties and Chesters were brought. Afterwards, a central criminal court was set up under the administration of justice in London, where judges were allowed to listen to cases outside the court for ensuring a fair trial and avoiding delaying cases. In the case of civil cases, county courts were created under county courts act 1846. 

In 1873 a judicature act was passed which enabled the merger of common law and equity all courts now have the right to administer both equity and common law. The same act enabled a high court and a court of appeal and has provided a right to appeal in cases of civil matters but it has not remained limited to it furtherly in 1907 a court of criminal appeal was formed under criminal appeal act.

Crown courts were created under crown courts act 1971 they deal with business and laws they took quarter sessions of work of Liverpool and Manchester.

To know deeply about something it’s important to go into the history of the subject that’s why it’s important to know about the enactment of the legal and judicial system so that we can reach to a favourable conclusion.

Confront in Public (Affray) as per Indian Laws

Whatever issue happened between any two of the parties whether a criminal wrong or [2]Civil no matter how small or big an offence is no matter how rich or poor you are or which caste or community you belong to whenever you feel discriminated against, faced with something wrong or suffering for something you haven’t done. The first line that comes out of your mouth is “ I will see you in court”. You say this line because you have belief, you have hope that you will get justice served in your favour, why you will suffer or face any fallacious act if you are innocent or being backstabbed.   [3]

If you look at the scenario of a fight in street/public with a legal eye it is proved as an offence of Affray as per section 159 of Indian penal code, when two or more person fight in the street destroys the public peace or morality and ethics it has been said as the offence of affray. The penalizing for the offence of affray is there in section 160 of Indian penal code i.e. fine of Rs 100 or imprisonment up to 1 month or both. This offence postulates the undertaking of actual assault and public misconduct, the fight is necessary for affray both the parties combative and participates in their own struggles to win.

  • Affray in IPC is a bailable offence.
  • Non-compoundable.
  • Criminal procedure code 1973 has now made it cognisable offence.
  • A triable summary and can be tried by any magistrate.

Affray as per English Laws

Affray is a public order offence that contains fighting between two or more persons in a public place to the terror of ordinary people. In English law, if two persons are fighting in a private place and no one is present there except who aided and abetted will constitute to affray, but the assembly for such objective is unlawful, amount to riot and assault. These are the offences that are usually charged in the affray. Punishments are imprisonment or fine. 

Dispute Resolution in Courts

Dispute resolution aka fights in courts are the purest and leading form of listening to both the parties on their own views and perceptions and reaching to the favourable and genuine conclusion/judgement where guilty is punished for the wrongs he has done and innocent is left with no charge aka clean chit. Fights in courts have a very long history that we have covered above, In India, if we talk about the judicial system it was the inheritance of Britishers after the independence in 1947 our country adopted the unitary-federal system to govern the country as written/ stated in the constitution. The legal system was separated into three branches –

  • Legislature
  • Executive
  • Judiciary

Every branch has its own powers and duties that they perform, legislature/parliament has to enact laws keeping executive and judiciary in mind, accorded at the first place until the laws are enacted or implemented. Executive body implements those laws on the state, the administrative head of government includes the prime minister, chief minister, president and governors forms the executive.

Judiciary happens to be the eminent branch of the government that interprets laws, settles disputes and makes sure that justice is served to all. Judiciary happens to be a guardian to democracy and the defender of the country when it comes to fundamental rights of citizens, protection of democracy, injustice happened anywhere and whenever any article of the Constitution is violated/misused then it’s the right of the judiciary to look into the contention. This branch comprises the Supreme Court (one in a nation), high courts (in every state), district and other subordinate courts.  


In the end, I would like to conclude that fighting in the streets and fighting in a courtroom is an unpleasant journey. More often it will let you go through tough times and sometimes even worse than you haven’t expected. In terms of a layman courtroom, things are not a satisfactory procedure/place they may get justice but the cost will be high and that too will take time and effort to happen. The laws of India are very much superior and flattering but due to some reasons like corruption from supreme authorities and bribery the justice keeps on delaying or gets dismissed. Our founding fathers made it very patronizing in every manner but people in India don’t get feared from laws and lack of education that used to be the prime reasons for this happening, sometimes it also happens because of improper police investigation ( mostly in criminal cases ) that justice gets delayed or served inappropriately. After 74 years of independence, India is still disparate in income and inequality, powerful and wealthy people take advantage of this system and get things done accordingly. If you have read this article thoroughly then you may have noted that corruption and interruption of politics in the judiciary is not a new thing even in 13th and 14th these things have happened, don’t know what to say now you all must be speechless like me but there is a saying, whatever happens, happens for good and things will change with a belief and right thought.

[1] References


[2] Indian penal code 1860