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Thokehom Angou Singh Vs. the Union Territory of Manipur and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject;Criminal
CourtGuwahati High Court
Decided On
Judge
AppellantThokehom Angou Singh
RespondentThe Union Territory of Manipur and anr.
Excerpt:
- - on 20th april, 1960, the publicity officer of the administration issued a press communique stating that despite grave provocation, the administration had refrained from taking any action against those who had broken the laws, that the administration did not desire to stop the people of manipur from making claims in a constitutional manner, but that it was not wise to shout, abuse and misbehave and further that the administration which had been patient till then would be com-delled to take strong measures as there was a limit to the tolerance of the illegal activities like stopping of buses, not allowing postal authority to work and preventing functioning of courts and government offices, causing financial loss and serious inconvenience to the members of the public. have been..... t.n.r. tirumalpad, j.c.1.this is an application filed by shri thokchom angou singh under sections 561-a/435 and 439, cr.p.c. read with article 227 of the constitution for quashing the three orders passed by the district magistrate, manipur, under section 144, cr.p.c. on 25-4-1960 and for quashing the proceedings in the criminal case no. 2 of 1960 against the petitioner for the alleged violation of the said orders.2. the three orders were produced as annex-tires a, b and c. they were challenged by the petitioner on various grounds. but i admitted the petition only on two of the grounds, namely, that the said orders were made by the district magistrate without giving any specific or definite area to be covered by the said orders in contravention in section 144, cr.p.c. and further that the.....
Judgment:

T.N.R. Tirumalpad, J.C.

1.This is an application filed by Shri Thokchom Angou Singh under Sections 561-A/435 and 439, Cr.P.C. read with Article 227 of the Constitution for quashing the three orders passed by the District Magistrate, Manipur, under Section 144, Cr.P.C. on 25-4-1960 and for quashing the proceedings in the Criminal Case No. 2 of 1960 against the petitioner for the alleged violation of the said orders.

2. The three orders were produced as Annex-tires A, B and C. They were challenged by the petitioner on various grounds. But I admitted the petition only on two of the grounds, namely, that the said orders were made by the District Magistrate without giving any specific or definite area to be covered by the said orders in contravention in Section 144, Cr.P.C. and further that the said orders were made generally in contravention of Section 144, Cr.P.C.

When the matter was taken up for hearing after the issue of notice to the respondents, the petitioner did not press his case as far as Article 227 of the Constitution was concerned, but stated that as far as his prayer for quashing the three orders was concerned, he relied on the revi.sional jurisdiction of this Court under Section 439, Cr.P.C. and as far as the quashing of the proceedings in the Criminal Case No. 2 of 1960 was concerned, he relied on Section 561-A, Cr.P.C. and that the quashing of the latter proceedings would depend on the grant of his prayer for quashing the orders of the District Magistrate. Thus he prays that this Court may exercise its revisional jurisdiction for quashing the three orders.

3. The short facts can be briefly stated. An organisation called the Manipur Assembly Demand Co-ordination Committee, sponsored a movement for the restoration of the Legislative Assembly, which was said to have been existing in Manipur in 1947 under the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947. A leaflet (Annexure I) was distributed by the Wangkei Kongba Socialist Party on 15-2-60 .stating that the movement will be started in the first week of April, 1960 and that a public meeting followed by a torch light procession will be held on 20-2-60 at Wangkhei, a suburb of Imphal.

Then in the first week of April, 1960, meetings were held at different places in the valley of Manipur and processions were also taken out. The regular movement started on the 11th April, 1960. On that day there was a general strike throughout Imphal town. This is stated in the leaflet Annexure IV issued by the Assembly Demand Co-ordination Committee. From that date, meetings and demonstrations were held and citizens were being solicited by the participants In the movement to join the same.

This is admitted in para 2 of the petition. Further details of the movement between the 11th and the 25th of April, are given in paragraphs 2 to 10 of the counter affidavit. But the petitioner does not admit the facts stated therein and also states that they are irrelevant. Hence I do not propose to detail those facts, but content myself with stating that the movement continued without any action being taken by the Administration till 25th April, 1960.

4. I may refer to Annexures 2, 3 and 4, which are printed leaflets issued between the Hth and 18th April, 1960 by the Assembly Demand Co-ordination Committee giving the details of the progress of the movement. Annexure 2 stated that on 12-4-60 100 Satyagrahis led by the petitioner and another, who are members of the Territorial Council went in a procession to the Deputy Commissioner's Office and remained there till 4-00 p.m. shouting slogans that Assembly should be granted and that thousands of people standing in sympathy made it impossible for the Courts in the Deputy Commissioner's compound to function properly and that afraid of the strength of the Satyagrahis, the Administration did not torture them.

Annexure 3 stated that 100 Satyagrahis on 14-4-1960 entered the Secretariat Office disobeying law and violating the practice of taking passes for entering the Secretariat and shouting slogans that Legislature must be introduced and Chief Commissioner's rule abolished with the result that the Secretariat could not be carried on properly and that thousands of sympathisers remained standing outside.

Annexure 4 dated 16-4-60 pointed out that a new type of peaceful movement was needed and that from 20th April, a civil disobethence movement would be started in full swing throughout Manipur by picketing peacefully at the Offices in Imphal and in the Sub-Division Head-quarters and that Government employees would be requested not to attend offices with effect from 20-4-60 and that all the public would be requested not to cooperate with the Government.

On 20th April, 1960, the Publicity Officer of the Administration issued a press communique stating that despite grave provocation, the Administration had refrained from taking any action against those who had broken the laws, that the Administration did not desire to stop the people of Manipur from making claims in a constitutional manner, but that it was not wise to shout, abuse and misbehave and further that the Administration which had been patient till then would be com-delled to take strong measures as there was a limit to the tolerance of the illegal activities like stopping of buses, not allowing postal authority to work and preventing functioning of Courts and Government Offices, causing financial loss and serious inconvenience to the members of the public.

5. Thus it will be seen that tension was mounting up to a crisis. It is but natural that when such a movement is started and the public are asked to join in it and their enthusiasm is worked up by propaganda, the situation will get out of hand and a stage reached when whether with or without the approval of the sponsors of the movement acts of violence would start creeping in. Such a situation was reached on 25-4-1960.

6. On that day the second respondent, the District Magistrate passed the order Annexure A under Section 144, Cr.P.C. It is not necessary to give this order in detail as it has been modified by a subsequent order issued on the same date as Annexure B. Both are orders issued under Section 144(3) directed to the public generally. They were passed ex parte in view of the emergency. Such an order can be issued only when the public frequent or visit a particular place.

But in the first order Annexure A though the public were directed to abstain from doing seven different kinds of acts, the local area within which the prohibition was to be in force was defined only in respect of two of the acts which are items (v) and (vi) in the said order, while in respect of items (i) to (iv) and (vii), the particular place within which the acts were to be abstained from was not specified.

It was mentioned that the order will come into force immethately and will remain in force for 2 months unless withdrawn earlier, but the area was not specified. Evidently, this was realised by the District Magistrate on the same day after the publication of Annexure A and so the modified order Annexure B was issued in which this defect was cured and it was mentioned that the order would come into force immediately within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within 5 miles from the Municipal limits.

7. It was however unfortunate that in the copy Annexure B certified to be a true copy by the Advocate of the petitioner, this portion of the order specifying the limits was omitted. As the copies Annexure A and Annexure B were thus seen on their very face to be in contravention of Section 144(3) this petition was admitted by me. Actually, the arguments on behalf of the petitioner proceeded on the basis that Annexure A and Annexure B did not give the specific or definite area within which they were to be in force and it appeared that the advocate for the petitioner was himself not aware that the second order denned the area.

It was only when the learned Government Advocate produced the correct copy of the second order that this mistake was brought to the notice of this Court. The advocate for the petitioner thereupon expressed his regret for the mistake and filed an application for making the necessary correction. Thus a very serious objection taken to the second order is now found not to exist. As however various other objections stating that the said orders were in contravention of Section 144, Cri.P.C. have been raised, it is better that I give the two orders in extenso:

MANIPUR ADMINISTRATION Office Of The District Magistrate: Manipur.

ORDER

Imphal, the 25th April, 1960.

No. 102/Orders/MLA/60/DC. - WHEREAS it appears from the Police report and material and dependable information from others that the Socialist Party, Communist Party and other interested groups of individuals have organised a movement inter alia for committing acts of violence and preventing the people, including persons in the employ of the Government and other authorities and institutions, from attending to their normal work and business and which acts are likely to cause annoyance and injury to the persons lawfully employed and disturbance to public tranquillity:

AND WHEREAS I am satisfied from the aforesaid Police report and information that there is sufficient ground for proceeding under Section 144, of the Criminal Procedure Code and that immethate prevention of the same is desirable.

Now therefore, I. Shri C.H. Naire, District Magistrate, Imphal, Manipur, do hereby order and direct under the said Section 144 of the Cr.P.C. that:

(i) No person except those on duty will carry any lethal weapon, firearms, lathi, or Danda provided that the infirm and old persons can carry walking sticks of not more than 4 ft. in length, W. in diameter,

(ii) No person will shout slogans or deliver speeches which may insult, annoy or provoke any community or class of persons.

(iii) No person will publish, print, sell or distribute any unauthorised or unsigned news, pamphlet or hand bill.

(iv) No person will operate, use, hire or lend loudspeaker or any apparatus used for it without permission for any of the above purposes.

(v) No person will form an assembly of 5 or more persons in public places within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within five miles from the Municipal limits.

(vi) No person will participate, organise or attempt to organise any demonstration, meeting, procession, picketing within the Municipal limits of the town of the Imphal and suburbs within five miles from the Municipal limits.

(vii) No vehicle shall be used for the carrying and the movement of any person connected with the Satyagraha movement in contravention of the provisions of this order.

In view of emergency this order is passed ex parte. This order will come in force immethately and will remain in force for two months unless it is withdrawn earlier.

This order will be published in one or more of the following ways:

(a) By proclamation in usual manner.

(b) By affixing a copy on the Notice Board of District Magistrate's Court and Police Station and important places in the town and suburbs.

(c) By announcement on Loudspeaker. Any person contravening this order is liable for prosecution under Section 188, I.P.C.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Court this twenty-fifth day of April, 1960.

Sd/- C.H. Naire,District Magistrate, Manipur.

ORDER

Imphal, the 25th April, 1960.

No. 103/Orders/MLA/60/DC: -WHEREAS it appears from the Police report and material and dependable information from others that the Socialist Party, Communist Party and other interested groups of individuals have organised a movement inter alia for committing acts of vio-fence and preventing the people, including persons in the employ of the Govt. and other authorities and institutions, from attending to their normal work and business and which acts are likely to came annoyance and injury to the persons lawfully employed and disturbance to public tranquillity.

AND WHEREAS I am satisfied from the aforesaid Police report and information that there is sufficient ground for proceeding under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and that immethate prevention of the same is desirable;

Now therefore, I. Shri C.H. Naire, District Magistrate, Imphal, Manipur in partial modification of Order No. 103/MLA/60/DC dated 25th instant do hereby order and direct under the said Section 144 of the Cr.P.C. that:

(i) No person except those on duty will carry any lethal weapon, firearms, lathi or Danda provided that the infirm and old persons can carry walking sticks of not more than 4 ft., in length, 1/2' in diameter.

(ii) No person will by written or spoken word or by writing in any form including News papers or by shouting slogans or by delivering speeches or in any other way insult, annoy or provoke any community or class of persons.

(iii) No person will publish, print, sell or distribute any unauthorised or unsigned news, pamphlet or hand bill.

(iv) No person will operate, use, hire or lend loudspeaker or any apparatus used for it without permission for any of the above purposes.

(v) No person will form an assembly of 3 or more persons in public places within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within five miles from the Municipal limits.

(vi) No person will participate, organise or attempt to organise any demonstration, meeting, procession, picketing within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within five miles from the Municipal limits.

(vii) No vehicle shall be used by any person for the carrying and the movement of any person connected with the Satyagraha movement in contravention of the provisions of this order. In view of emergency this order is passed ex parte. This order will come in force immethately within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within, five miles from the Municipal limits and will remain in force for two months unless with drawn earlier.

This order will be published in one or more of the following ways:

(a) By proclamation in usual manner.

(b) By affixing a copy on the Notice Board of District Magistrate's Court and Police Station and important places in the town and suburbs.

(c) By announcement on Loudspeaker.

Any person contravening this order is liable for prosecution under Section 188, I.P.C.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Court this twenty-fifth day of April, 1960.

Sd/- C.H. Naire,District Magistrate, Manipur.

Copy forwarded to:

(1) The O. O. Imphal Police Station with spare copies for proclamation and affixing copies on important places.

(2) The Publicity Officer for publicity.

(3) Nazir, D. C/s Office, for Notice Board.

Sd/. C.H. Naire,

District Magistrate, Manipur.

8. We are thus now concerned only with this corrected copy of Annexure B. Whenever I refer to Annexure B. it is to this corrected copy. Annexure A having been modified by Annexure B. we need not now worry over Annexure A except in respect of items (v) and (vi) therein where the areas have been specified, Annexure A will be relevant only in respect of any action taken by the Administration on that alone without the modification by Annexure B. Petitioner was arrested on 26-4-1960, i.e., after the promulgation of Annexure B. Annexure B itself contains the various acts which the public are asked to abstain from within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within a radius of 5 miles around.

9. We are not concerned with the order Annexure C which was also proclaimed on the same day as the other two orders. It is an order of curfew between 7-30 p.m. and 6-00 a.m. to be in force within the revised Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and was to remain in force for 3 days. It was mentioned that it was extended till 7th May, 1960 and is now no longer in force. Anyway, the petitioner was not arrested for breaking this curfew order.

10. He was arrested on 26-4-1960 and Criminal Proceedings under Section 188, I.P.C., were started and Criminal Case No. 2 of 1960 is pending against him which has now been stayed by this Court, The petitioner has not stated why he was arrested, i.e., for the contravention of which of the terms of the order Annexure B he was arrested. When he filed this petition, he had not been produced before the criminal Court and the substance of the accusation against him had not been stated to him under Section 242, Cr.P.C. I called for the records of the criminal case.

It is seen from the records that he is accused of 'forming an assembly of more than 5 persons' and of 'shouting slogans of a very insulting, angry and provocating nature' such as 'C.C. Gi Snson Pamde, Mayangi Sason Sason Pamde, Prajagi Dabi Ain Sova', meaning 'we do not like C.C.'s rule, we do not like the rule of foreigners, citizens claim Legislative Assembly'. It will be seen from this that the charge against him is of a violatooa of items (if) and (v) of the order, Annexure B.

11. I have already stated that in this petition he has prayed that the orders Annexure A. Annexure B and Annexure C may be set aside under Article 227 of the Constitution and under S 439, Cr.P.C. but that at the time of arguments, the matter was pressed only under Section 439, Cr.P.C. the Revisional Jurisdiction of this Court.

12. It was contended for the petitioner after the mistake in Annexure B was corrected, that Annexure A was published in the Manipur Gazette, while Annexure B which modified Annexure A was not so published in the Gazette, that an order under Section 144 has to be served in the manner provided under Section 134, Cr.P.C. that under Section 134 (2) an order to be served on the public has to be notified by proclamation, published in such manner as the State Government may by rule direct, that there is no rule of the Manipur Administration giving any such direction and that the publication as stated in Annexure B was not therefore proper publication and hence the entire order Annexure B is invalid for want of proper service. This argument of the petitioner is meaningless. The petitioner does not deny in his' petition that Annexure B was not published in the manner mentioned therein, that is, by affixture of a copy in the Notice Board of the District Magistrate's Court and Police Station and important places in the town and suburbs and by announcement through loud-speaker. In fact, the petitioner has himself produced a copy of the order.

Thus, the purpose of the publication has been achieved, in any case, as far as the petitioner was concerned. Further, it is not a matter to be gone into at this stage. As it is for the prosecution to prove in the Criminal Case that Annexure B had come to the knowledge of the petitioner and that he violated the order, it cannot be gone into in the present revision petition. It is for the Criminal Court to go into the question in the proceedings against the petitioner.

13. It was further contended) that even though the Municipal limits and 5 miles radius therefrom are mentioned in Annexure B. it is not sufficient compliance of Section 144(3) under which the particular place has to be specified. In support of that contention certain decisions also were cited which I shall be dealing with later in this order. Next it was contended that the material facts of the case were not stated by the District Magistrate in the written orders as required under Section 144(1) Para 2 and that this has vitiated the entire order.

It was pointed out that an order under Section 144 especially when directed against the public was a curtailment of the liberty of the citizen and so the public were entitled to know from the statement of the material facts of the case that the particular acts which they were called upon to abstain from, do not go beyond the requirements of the case and are reasonable restrictions of their fundamental rights of freedom guaranteed to the citizen under Article 19 of the Constitution.

It was also pointed out that the restrictions imposed by Annexure B are so wide that even the legitimate activities of the citizen would become impossible. I was taken through each of the 7 items of restrictions imposed by Annexure B. It would have been better in this case if the petitioner had mentioned these objections in detail in his petition instead of mentioning it in a compendious form in ground No. 5, that the orders Annexure A. Annexure B and Annexure C were made by the respondent No. 2 in contravention of Section 144, Cr.P.C.

14. Before I proceed to deal with these objections, I must make it clear that the petitioner in the course of the arguments did not state that the District Magistrate had no grounds at all for proceeding under Section 144 or that his action was mala fide. No doubt ground No. 6 has been taken that the orders were made by the District Magistrate with a mala fide motive, but at the time of the admission of this petition, I called upon the petitioner's advocate to state the grounds on which be characterised the order as mala fide.

He was not able to substantiate the ground. Hence I did not admit the petition on that ground. The District Magistrate is the man on the spot and Section 144 leaves it to his discretion whether he would proceed under that section and if, in his opinion, he finds that there is sufficient ground for the same, this Court will not question it in revision, unless it is shown to be mala fide. No argument was advanced on that ground. Hence the objections are confined to the details of the orders passed by him.

15. Before I proceed to deal with those objections, it is necessary to deal with certain preliminary objections raised by the Government Advocate.

16. The learned Government Advocate pointed out that the orders were passed ex parte under Section 144(2) as it was a case of emergency and that in such a case, the petitioner could go before the District Magistrate under Section 144(4) and (5) and show cause against the order and he could come to this Court by way of revision, only if the District Magistrate rejected his prayer for reasons to be recorded in writing, I was not very much impressed with this argument, because the petitioner was arrested for violation of the orders the very next day after their promulgation and thereby prevented from appearing before the District Magistrate and questioning his orders.

It has been held in Pitchai v. Muhammad Atham AIR 1932 Mad 720, in In re Phiroz Shaw Ardeshir AIR 1940 Bom 42 and Jagat Chandra v. Dhirendra Chandra AIR 1953 Tripura 6(2) that Section 144(4) is not a bar to a direct revision to the High Court. Of course, such direct applications should not be encouraged when the District Magistrate himself could alter or rescind the order. But where the petitioner was arrested immethately after the orders, he is not precluded from filing a revision to the High Court.

17. Secondly, it was argued by the learned Government Advocate that all the points raised in this revision could be raised by the petitioner in the Criminal Case pending against him and that it was only if he was convicted by the Criminal Court that he could come up in revision under Sections 435 and 439, Cr.P.C. I am not impressed with this argument also because the Magistrate before whom this case is pending is subordinate to the District Magistrate and he will not be in a position in a proceeding under Section 188. I.P.C. to go into the question whether the orders of the District Magistrate were promulgated in accordance with the provisions of Section 144. Cr.P.C.

He will see that the District Magistrate had the power to promulgate the order. He will not be in a position to question whether the order of his superior officer fully complied with the provisions of Section 144 and whether the restrictions imposed were reasonable restrictions. It is only a Court, which is superior to the District Magistrate which will be in a position to go into those questions. I do not think it is necessary for a person arrested for violation of the order under Section 144 to wait for his conviction by the Magistrate, before filing a revision to the High Court or to the Sessions Judge unde Section 435, Cr.P.C.

18. It was next pointed out by the Government Advocate that, in any case, the entire ordeg of the District Magistrate under Section 144 should not be questioned by the petitioner in t'is revision but only so much of the order as has affected him in his arrest and that it will be futhe for this Court at_ this stage to sit in judgment over the pntire order and go into each item or the restrictions imposed by the order and to see whether they are reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) and (3) of the Constitution.

This argument would involve an examination of the powers of the High Court in revision under Sections 435 and 439, Cr.P.C. Under Section 435, a High Court may call for and examine the record of any proceeding before any inferior Court for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any order recorded or passed,. Certainly, the District Magistrate is an inferior Court and the order under Section 144, Cr.P.C, is a Judicial order.

Under Section 439, Cr.P.C. in the case of any proceeding the record of which has been called for or which has been reported for orders or which Otherwise comes to its knowledge, the High Court may in its discretion exercise any of the powers. conferred on a Court of appeal by Sections 423 426, 427 and 428. One of the powers under Section 423, Cr.P.C., in an appeal from an order is to alter or reverse such order.

If the High Court can thus exercise the power under Section 423, in a revision under Section 439, it follows. that it has the right in the case of an order passed by the District Magistrate under Section 144 to alter Or reverse the order. The powers of the High-Court in revision have been dealt with in the decision, Chunbidya and Ors. v. Emp. AIR 1935 PC 35 and it was held that when a High Court has before it a record of a criminal proceeding: the condition precedent under Section 435, Cr.P.C. is satisfied and the High Court can proceed to exercise its revisiona] power if it chooses to do so.

There are Other cases in which it has been held that the High Court has power to interfere in revision on a matter being brought to its notice-in any manner whatsoever not necessarily by-means of an application on the part of a person convicted and it can interfere on information contained in a newspaper or a placard on a wall or an anonymous post card if it considers that sufficient grounds have been established to justify its so doing, vide the decision Naraln Prasad v. Emperor ILR 45 All 128 : AIR 1923 All 85. It is a matter of discretion of the High Court and it will not be exercised except to correct grave injustice or miscarriage of justice and not in the case of every illegality or mistake of law (Narasingdas, 29 Cri LJ 86 : AIR 1928 Nag 113,.

19. It is a power to be sparingly used. There are so many orders passed by inferior Criminal Courts and normally, the High Court will not call for the records in all cases where there has been any illegality, as, in that case, the revisional power will be unduly exercised. It is a golden, rule that normally it will be exercised only when it is brought to its notice by any person who is affected by such an order and only in so far as it affects the person concerned.

20. Keeping this in mind we have to decide to what extent this Court should go into the order Annexure B. that is, whether this Court should go into each of the restrictions placed on the public by the said order and examine its reasonableness in relation to Article 19(2) and (3) of the Constitution and see whether the acts prohibited and the danger apprehended have any co-relation or casual connection and for that purpose generally examine and go into the details of each of those restrictions.

It seems to me that it is too tall an order in a revision petition of this kind. It will be allowing the petitioner to set himself up as a champion of the public and to espouse the cause of the public. The petitioner has himself not purported to do so. His petition is filed because of his arrest and the criminal proceeding taken against him and he is seeking to quash the same by attacking the order. We are therefore only concerned in this revision with the particular restrictions in the order, the violation of which resulted in the criminal case against him.

I have already pointed out that in the criminal case against him, the only two restrictions which are said to have been violated are items Nos. (ii) and (v) in Annexure B. It seems to me that to go into all the other restrictions will be unnecessary in this case. It will be time enough to examine them when persons affected by those restrictions come up in revision. Thus, though the arguments by the learned advocate for the petitioner covered the entire order Annexure B. I propose to examine only these two items.

21. In that connection I may also refer to the decision of the Supreme Court cited by the learned Government Advocate - Charanjit Lal Choudhury v. Union of India, reported in : [1950]1SCR869 , in which in an application by way of writ under Article 32 of the Constitution, their Lordships declared that the rights that could be enforced under Article 32 must ordinarily be the rights of the petitioner himself who complains of infraction of such rights and approaches the Court for relief.

The learned Government Advocate argued from this that the same principle would apply to an application for revision to a High Court under Section 439, Cr.P.C., and the High Court would examine the records in a case only in so far as it affected the rights of the person at whose instance the revision petition was filed. I am not prepared to agree with this view because the writ jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution could be fnvoked only for the enforcement of the rights conferred by Part III of the Constitution.

It follows that a person can apply for such a writ only when he complains of infraction of his rights under that Part. But the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court under the Criminal Procedure Code is wider as every inferior Criminal Court is subordinate to the High Court under Section 435, Cr.P.C., and subject to the superintendence of the High Court under Art 227 of the Constitution. Hence the revisional powers are certainly wider in scope than the writ jurisdiction. I have already pointed out that under Section 435, Cr.P.C. the High Court can suo motu call for the records and examine them to satisfy itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any order passed by an inferior Criminal Court.

22. But it was pointed by the learned Government Advocate that the petitioner was questioning that the order under Section 144, has trespassed on his fundamental rights under Section 19, and he questions the reasonableness of the restrictions and this could be examined in revision only in so far as it affects the petitioner's rights and he cannot be allowed to arrogate to himself the position of a representative of the public This argument of the Government Advocate appears to be quite sound. That was one of the reasons why I decided to examine only items (ii) and (v) in the order Annexure B which affected the petitioner.

23. Here itself I may dispose of the argument advanced for the petitioner that the restrictions in the order curtailed the freedom of speech and expression, the right of peaceable assembly, the right to move about freely, the right to print or publish leaflet and hand-bills and even the right of the owner, conductor or driver of a bus to carry passengers therein. In connection with that argument he took me through each of the items of restrictions in Annexure B.

I am afraid that such an argument is advanced without understanding the scope of an order under Section 144, Cr.P.C. with emphasis on the impugned order in particular. An order under Section 144, does not in any way affect the peaceful life or legitimate activities of the citizen in the area in which it is proclaimed. In fact Annexure B does not affect freedom of speech or peaceable assembly or printing or publishing of leaflets and pamphlets or the carrying of persons in buses. It does not prohibit meetings or procession altogether.

Though these are prohibited in general terms in the impugned order, the violation of any part of the order by itself will not amount to an offence. It is only when an order under Section 144, Cr.P.C. is taken along with Section 188, I.P.C. that the violation will become an offence. In order to constitute an offence under Section 188, I.P.C., it must be proved that such disobethence of the order caused or tended to cause obstruction, annoyance or infury or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person lawfully employed or danger to human life or safety or a riot or affray.

Thus it is only if the prohibited act when indulged in brings about or tends to bring about the above result that it becomes an offence. Any violation of the order which does not cause or tend to cause the above result will not amount to an offence. I am indebted to the decision, Sri Raj Narain Singh v. Dist. Magistrate, Gorakhpur reported in (S) : AIR1956All481 , for an exposition of this aspect of the matter.

24. Thus people can assemble in Picture houses in more numbers than 5. Marriage processions, or religious processions are not prohibited nor are innocent meetings prohibited. In Courts and public Offices more than 5 persons will always be assembling. It will not be an offence. Nor are people prevented from speaking or expressing themselves by word or in writing. The restrictions are intended fox a special purpose to meet an emergency. That emergency is mentioned in the order, namely, that the Socialist Party, Communist Party and other interested groups of individuals have organised a movement inter alia for committing acts of violence which acts are likely to cause annoyance and injury to persons lawfully employed and thereby to cause disturbance to public tranquillity.

25. That the state of affairs by 25th April, 1960, had, in the opinion of the District Magistrate, reached such a stage was hardly questioned for the petitioner. The existence of the movement by the Socialist Party and others was not denied. Annexure 4 showed that there was a general strike on 11-4-1960. It also showed that the Assembly Demand Co-ordination Committee decided on an intensification of the movement from 20th April, and was carrying on propaganda through speech writing, meetings and processions.

The District Magistrate passed the order On 23-4-60 as stated in Annexure B for immediate prevention of acts of violence which he had information were likely. Speeches, assembly of more than 5 persons, publishing and printing of pamphlets and leaflets, use of loud-speaker, meetings, processions, demonstrations, picketing etc., and the use of vehicles for carrying Satyagrahis would help in such a movement wherein acts of violence were likely to be indulged in resulting in disturbance of public tranquillity.

26. It is in the light of this that we have to understand the objection raised by the petitioner that material facts have not been stated in the order as required under Section 144(1) 2nd para. We shall examine that objection with reference to the order. The order states as I pointed out that from Police report and other material dependable information from others it appeared to the District Magistrate that the Socialist Party and Communist Party and other interested groups of individuals have organised a movement inter alia for committing acts of violence and preventing the people including persons in the employ of the Government and authorities and institutions from attending to their normal work and business and which acts are likely to cause annoyance and injury to the persons lawfully employed and disturbance to public tranquillity.

These are the material facts stated. What was argued was that the statement of the material facts must by itself show that it was necessary for the immethate prevention of disturbance to public trannquillity that the restrictions imposed on the public were obsolutely necessary for achieving that object. In other words, the facts stated must show that the carrying of lethal weapons etc., speech and writing and shouting of slogans, printing, publishing etc., of pamphlets and hand-bills, use of loud-speaker, assembly of more than 5 persons, demonstrations, meetings, processions etc., use of vehicles for carrying Satyagrabis are likely to cause disturbance to public tranquillity.

I am unable to accept this argument. We have to remember that the order was issued for immethate prevention, that is, even before the acts of violence were indulged in and even before any of the acts prohibited by the order were indulged in.

If the acts had already been indulged in and resulted in disturbance to public tranquillity, the District Magistrate could give instances in stating the material facts for speedy remedy.

But where it is a case of immethate prevention, the District Magistrate has to decide for himself what are the acts which are likely to cause a disturbance of public tranquillity. In deciding it, he has to see what are the acts which before 25-4-1960 aided and encouraged the movementi and what are the acts which with the likelihood of violence in the back-ground will cause such disturbance. Being the man on the spot, he knew the acts of the participants in the movements between 11th and 25th April.

If we look at the order in this light, we cannot find fault with the District Magistrate for having imposed the restrictions in the said order or say that they infringe Article 19(2) and (3) of the Constitution.

We are immethately concerned with only items (ii) and (v) in Annexure B relating to the shouting of slogans and the assembly of 5 or more persons as the petitioner is charged for the violation of those two items. I would not like to say more about those two restrictions as the matter is pending before a Criminal Court, except to state that shouting of slogans and picketing and processions by more than 5 persons have admittedly being used by the sponsors of the movement for aiding and encouraging the movement and when acts of violence are feared such shouting and assembly will tend to foster the movement resulting in disturbance to public tranquillity, as violence on one side is likely to beget violence on the other side. Restrictions on the freedom of the citizen are permitted under Article 19(2) and (3) of the Constitution in the interest of public order.

27. The petitioner relied on various decisions in support of his case that material facts have not been stated in the present case. In particular, strong reliance was placed on the two decisions Thakin Aung Bala v. District Magistrate, Rangoon AIR 1939 Rang 181 and Editor, Tribune v. Emperor AIR 1942 Lah 171 (FB). In neither of those cases was there the existence of a movement as in this case with a threat to committ acts of violence and the orders of the District Magistrate did not show that there was any such apprehension of the acts of violence resulting in a breach of the peace.

The material facts to be stated in the present case were the existence of the threatened violent movement and the likelihood of breach of the peace as a result of the violent acts, I have thus shown the casual connection between the acts prohibited by the order and the danger apprehended. The main material fact in the present case is the organisation of the movement with the threat of acts of violence.

There is no doubt that the prohibited acts are likely to prevent people from attending to their normal work and business and to cause annoyance and injury to persons lawfully employed and thereby create a breach of the peace. These fact are all stated in the impugned order and these, In my opinion are the material facts to be stated and they are co-related to the acts prohibited under the order. I see therefore no substance in that contention.

28. Another objection is that it will not be compliance of Section 144(3) for a District Magistrate to prohibit acts of the citizen in an area like the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs wthin 5 miles around. It was pointed out that the section provided that if it was to apply to the public generally, it must be only when frequenting or visiting a particular place'.

It was argued that it will not apply to the residents of a particular place, but only to those who frequented or visited the place and further that such a large area like the Municipal limits and suburbs within 5 miles will not come within the meaning of 'particular place' in Section 144(3). Various decisions were also cited in support oi this argument. They are Bhagubhai Dwarkadas v. Emperor AIR 1914 Bom 198 (1) D.V. Belvi v. Emperor AIR 1931 Bom 325, Motilal Gangadhar v. Emperor AIR 1931 Bom 513, Vasant B. Khale v. Emperor AIR 1934 Bom 375 and Sat Narain v. Emperor AIR 1939 All 746.

On the side of the respondents, certain other later decisions, Sorab Shavaksha Batlivala v. Emperor AIR 1935 Bom 33, Niharendu Dutt v. Emperor AIR 1939 Cal 703, Emperor v. Afaq Hussain Jauhar AIR 1941 All 70 (FB), Taturam Sahu v. State of Orissa AIR 1933 Orissa 96, Dr, Ram Manohar Lohia v. V.S, Sundaram, District Magistrate, Manipur AIR 1955 Manl 41, were cited showing a wider interpretation of the words in Section 144(3).

The perusal of all those decisions shows that the earlier decisions sought to place a very narrow construction on the words 'frequenting or visiting a particular place' and they were inclined to say that it will not apply to the residents of a particular place, but only to visitors and frequenters and that 'particular place' must be a restricted place and not an area within given boundaries. But the later decisions have held that the words would include the residents of the place and also that the word 'place' would, include an area within specified boundaries.

I certainly agree with the later decisions. The Idea of mentioning a particular place is to show that the District Magistrate, who may have jurisdiction over a very large district will have to Specify in passing the order under Section 144. in which particular area within his jurisdiction he intends to prohibit certain acts. It is intended so that the public may know for certain the area within which they are to abstain from certain acts.

29. Moreover we have to see the situation in each case to see whether the prohibitions in the specified area are justified in the emergency to prevent apprehended danger. In the case before us, Imphal town is the Headquarters of the Administration where the Secretariat and other Offices of the Government are situated and the Chief Commissioner resides and carries on his administration. The movement is directed against the Chief Commissioner's rule and the general strike and other activities of the movement including the threatened acts of violence are intended to paralyse the Administration, which object has necessarily to be achieved by carrying on the movement within the town of Imphal and its suburbs.

Hence it was quite proper for the District Magistrate to have prohibited the acts within the Municipal limits and suburbs of 5 miles radius. The respondents have produced before me a notification dated 17-3-60 (Annexure (vi)) wherein the boundaries of the Imphal Municipality have been clearly defined. Thus the public have no difficulty in understanding the area within which the order under Section 144 was to be in force. Under the circumstances this objection has no substance.

30. But it was further pointed out to me than as for as item (v) of the orders Annexure A and Annexure B was concerned, the assembly of 5 or more persons was prohibited 'in public places within the Municipal limits of the town of Imphal and suburbs within 5 miles from the Municipal limits'. It was stated that the term 'public places' was very vague and it would not show to the public in which all places within the denned area they were prevented from assembly.

I also find from the decision AIR 1935 Bom 33, which is relied on by the Government Advocate that an expression in an order like 'a place of public resort' was held as being much too vague to come within the terms of Section 144. If 'a place of public resort' is vague, then 'public places' is equally vagne. It would have been better if the District Magistrate had used a clearer expression to define the prohibited area.

But the learned Government Advocate argued that every person generally knows what is meant by the term 'public places'. They were said to include places like thoroughfare, roads, streets, marketplace, cinema houses, temples, playgrounds, parks, etc. It was pointed out by the learned Government Advocate that instead of detailing each of these places the general term 'public places' was used and that it was free from ambiguity and further that any other term used by the District Magistrate would not have included all the places of public resort which the District Magistrate had in view in using it.

We are not concerned in a case like this with the difficulty of the District Magistrate to use a suitable expression to express his intention. What we are concerned with is that when the freedom for peaceable assembly of citizens is being curtailed, they have a right to know in precise and clear terms in what places such curtailment is to take effect. Otherwise it will be very hard on the citizen.

Any order under Section 144 must be in clear and definite terms, and free from any ambiguity, as pointed out in the decisions Ambika Nanda Maitra v. Benode Behari Sarkar AIR 1932 Cal 288 and AIR 1939 Rang 181. As the use of the word public places in item (v) of the restrictions in Annexure B is not free from ambiguity and is likely to mislead the public with regard to its exact meaning, there is no doubt in my mind that the particular prohibition in Annexure A and Annexure B is not in accordance with the terms of Section 144(3). The petitioner has now been charged in criminal case No. 2 of 1960 with forming an assembly of more than 5 persons.

Curiously enough, I do not find in the complaint filed before the Magistrate by the District Magistrate any allegation that the petitioner assembled in a public place within the Municipal limits or within the suburbs of 5 miles around such limits, Still the petitioner is charged with forming an assembly of more than 5. He is therefore entitled to question the legality of the orders Annexure A and Annexure B as far as the particular item No. (v) is concerned. That part of the order in Annexures A and B has to be set aside. It is separable from the rest of the orders and setting aside of that particular item will not make the rest of the orders in any way invalid.

31. My finding therefore in tins petition is that the order Annexure B No. 103/Orders/MLA/ 60/DC, passed by the District Magistrate on 25th April 1960 is valid except in respect of the prohibition, item No. (v) there in. With regard to Hem No. (v), it is clearly ambiguous and vague and it has to be set aside and it is accordingly set aside. As regards Annexure A No. 102/Orders/MLA/ 60/DC, dated 25-4-60 it has no doubt been modified by Annexure B. But it has to be held that Annexure A Items (i) to (iv) and (vix) are also bad for want of any specified area within which it is to be in force.

Item (v) of Annexure A which is in the same terms as Item (v) of Annexure B has also to be set aside for the same reason as item No. (v) of Annexure B. It is accordingly set aside. As for the curfew order Annexure C. the petitioner is not concerned with the said order, as he has not been arrested for violation of the same. Hence I have not dealt with the same and I express no opinion as far as the said order is concerned in this revision petition.


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