1) Assault -

          According to Section 159 of the Indian Penal Code, Whoever makes any gesture, or any preparation intending or knowing it to be likely that such gesture or preparation will cause any person present to apprehend that he who makes that gesture or preparation is about to use criminal force to that person, is said to commit an assault.

Explanation - Mere words do not amount to an assault. But the words which a person uses may give to his gestures or preparation such a meaning as may make those gestures or preparations amount to an assault.

Illustration -

        A shakes his fist at Z, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause Z to believe that A is about to strike Z. A has committed an assault.
See in Detail... Assault

2) Affray -

   According to Section 159 of the Indian Penal Code, When two or more persons, by fighting in a public place, disturb the public peace, they are said to "commit an affray".

See in Detail... Affray

3) Distinction Between Assault and Affray -





Assault is an offense against the Person of the Individual.

Affray is an offense against Public Tranquillity


Assault is discussed in Chapter 16 of Indian Penal Code (I.P.C) Under Section 351.

Affray is discussed in Chapter 8 of the Indian Penal Code Under Section 159.


Assault may be Committed by one or more persons

Affray may be Committed by two or more persons


Assault can be Committed either in private or public place.

Affray can take place in a public place only


Assault is punishable with imprisonment up to 3 months or fine up to 500 or with both.

Affray is punishable with imprisonment of either description for one month or fine up to 100 or with both.

See also...

Distinction between Assault and Battery

Offenses Against State (Section 121 to 130 of the Indian Penal Code 1860)


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