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Emperor Vs. Ismail Karimbhai Mansuri - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeals Nos. 63 and 64 of 1942
Judge
Reported inAIR1942Bom328(1); (1942)44BOMLR799
AppellantEmperor
Respondentismail Karimbhai Mansuri
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
indian press (emergency powers,) act (xxiii of 1931), section 18(1)--news-sheet - -maker--printer of news-sheet is not its maker.;the printer of a news-sheet is not its maker within the meaning of section 18(1) of the indian press (emergency powers) act, 1931. - - the other provisions of the section clearly do not cover a printer. in the case of a newspaper, it seems to me perfectly plain that the printer cannot be described as the maker......for the purpose of the present appeals, i will assume that accused no. 1 published an unauthorized news-sheet, and that the present appellant, who is the keeper of a printing press, printed that news-sheet. section 18(1) provides that whoever makes, sells, distributes, publishes or publicly exhibits or keeps for sale, distribution or publication, any unauthorized news-sheet or newspaper, shall be punishable. a 'newspaper' is defined as meaning any periodical work containing public news or comments on public news, and 'news-sheet' is defined as any document other than a newspaper containing public news or comments on public news or any matter described in sub-section (1) of section 4; and an 'unauthorized news-sheet' means any news-sheet, publication of which has not been authorized under.....
Judgment:

John Beaumont, C.J.

1. These are appeals by Government against the acquittal of the accused of an offence under Section 18(1) of the Press (Emergency Powers) Act, XXIII of 1931. For the purpose of the present appeals, I will assume that accused No. 1 published an unauthorized news-sheet, and that the present appellant, who is the keeper of a printing press, printed that news-sheet. Section 18(1) provides that whoever makes, sells, distributes, publishes or publicly exhibits or keeps for sale, distribution or publication, any unauthorized news-sheet or newspaper, shall be punishable. A 'newspaper' is defined as meaning any periodical work containing public news or comments on public news, and 'news-sheet' is defined as any document other than a newspaper containing public news or comments on public news or any matter described in Sub-section (1) of Section 4; and an 'unauthorized news-sheet' means any news-sheet, publication of which has not been authorized under Section 15.

2. The only question which arises on these appeals is whether the printer of a news-sheet can be said to make such news-sheet within the meaning of the section. The other provisions of the section clearly do not cover a printer. In the case of a newspaper, it seems to me perfectly plain that the printer cannot be described as the maker. A newspaper is made by the combined efforts of several persons, including the author of the article, report, or other subject-matter of the newspaper, the editor and sub-editors who arrange the subject-matter for publication, and finally the printer who prints the newspaper. A news-sheet is, no doubt, a simpler type of publication, but in that case also it seems to me impossible to say that the printer is the maker. That would eliminate the author, who, more than any other single person, can be described as the maker. If the legislature intended to make the printer liable for printing an unauthorized newspaper or news-sheet, it would have been easy so to provide, instead of using so vague a word as, 'makes', with reference to a newspaper or news-sheet. In my opinion, the learned Magistrate was right in holding that accused No. 2, who was merely the printer of the news-sheet, has not committed an offence under Section 18(7).

3. The appeal will, therefore, be dismissed.

Wassoodew, J.

4. I agree.


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