Laws for everyday life
Laws relating to mutiny
IN the context of criminal law, mutiny refers to an insurrection of soldiers or crewmembers against the authority of their commanders. The offence is similar to a revolt or an incitement to revolt against established authority, punishable by both state and federal laws.
It may also be defined as a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals (typically members of the military; or the crew of any ship, even if they are civilians) to openly oppose, change or overthrow an existing authority. The term is commonly used for a rebellion among members of the military against their superior officer(s).
The following are legislations, which set the parameters of mutiny and illustrate the law regarding the issue in the Bangladesh.
The Penal Code, 1860
Certain laws not to be affected by this Act
5. Nothing in this Act is intended to repeal, vary, suspend, or affect any of the provisions of any Act for punishing mutiny and desertion of officers, soldiers, sailors or airmen in the service of the Republic, or of any special or local law.
Of offences relating to the army, navy and air force
Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty
131. Whoever abets the committing of mutiny by an officer, soldier, sailor or airman, in the Army, Navy or Air Force of Bangladesh, or attempts to seduce any such officer, soldier, sailor or airman from his allegiance or his duty, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation -In this section the words "officer", “soldier", "sailor" and "airman" include any person subject to the Army Act, 1952 or the Navy Ordinance, 1961 or the Air Force Act, 1953, as the case may be.
Abetment of mutiny, if mutiny is committed in consequence thereof
132. Whoever abets the committing of mutiny by an officer, soldier, sailor or airman, in the Army, Navy or Air Force of Bangladesh, shall, if mutiny be committed in consequence of that abetment, be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Of criminal intimidation, insult prejudicial act and annoyance
Statements conducing to public mischief
505. Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report,
(a) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, any officer, soldier, sailor or airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force of Bangladesh to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such; or
(b) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquility; or
(c) with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community; or
(d) with intent to create or promote, or which is likely to create or promote, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different communities, classes or sections of people,]
shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Exception - It does not amount to an offence, within the meaning of this section, when the person making, publishing or circulating any such statement, rumour or report, has reasonable grounds for believing that such statement, rumour or report is true and makes, publishes or circulates it without any such intent as aforesaid.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1938
Dissuasion from enlistment and instigation to mutiny or insubordination after enlistment
(a) with intent to affect adversely the recruitment of persons to serve in the Military, Naval or Air Forces of 1[ Bangladesh], wilfully dissuades or attempts to dissuade the public or any person from entering any such Forces, or
(b) without dissuading or attempting to dissuade any person from entering such Forces, instigates the public or any person to do, after entering any such Force, anything which is an offence punishable as mutiny or insubordination 2[ 31 of the Army Act, 1952, or sections 36, 40 and 41 of the Navy Ordinance, 1961, or sections 37 and 42 of the Air Force Act, 1953], as the case may be, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
No person shall be prosecuted for any offence under this Act except with the previous sanction of the Government.
Exception 1 - The provisions of clause (a) of this section do not extend to comments on or criticism of the policy of Government in connection with the Military, Naval or Air Forces, made in good faith without any intention of dissuading from enlistment.
Exception 2.- The provisions of clause (a) of this section do not extend to the case in which advice is given in good faith for the benefit of the individual to whom it is given, or for the benefit of any member of his family or of any of his dependants.
(... to be continued)
Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain
Source: Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs
Compiled by Lawdesk