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Emperor Vs. Govind Venkatesh Yalgi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Application for Revision No. 174 of 1908
Judge
Reported in(1908)10BOMLR1047
AppellantEmperor
RespondentGovind Venkatesh Yalgi
Excerpt:
.....acts: but the persons warned continued to do them from the verandah of a private house adjoining a public place :-;(1) that objectionable language such as 'if you drink, you will be drinking the blood of your children,' speaks for itself, no further evidence than the words used is required to prove that it has a tendency to cause annoyance to persons lawfully employed, under section 188 of the indian penal code.;(2) that the fact that the place from which the accused did the shouting against drink was verandah of a private house whereas the order of the district magistrate which forbade shouting applied only to a public places, made no difference ; for if a man standing on a private place adjoining a public road shouts into the road words deliberately meant for persons using that road,..........all persons to abstain from shouting the aforesaid words or other words of the same purport in public places in belgaum city and cantonment and i hereby warn all persons that a breach of this order is punishable under section 188 of the indian penal code.3. the jurisdiction of the district magistrate to issue such orders as the above under section 144 of the criminal procedure code is not questioned-indeed it was admitted-before us in revision but it is contended that both the orders, as they stand, are illegal, because (it is urged) they do not state, as required by the second para of the section, 'the material facts of the case' which led to the necessity for this promulgation. 'whether the material facts are stated in such a way as to amount to substantial compliance with the.....
Judgment:

Chandavarkar, J.

1. This is an application for revision of the order, passed by the Cantonment Magistrate, First Class, Belgaum, convicting the petitioner Govind Venkatesh Yalgi of an offence under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code in that he (the petitioner) disobeyed the order duly promulgated by the District Magistrate of Belgaum. The orders in question found by the lower Court to have been disobeyed by the petitioner are two. The first of them was issued by the District Magistrate on the 20th of April last and ran as follows:-

Whereas it appears that the above persons or some of them have recently been sending boys and other persons to patrol in front of the liquor shops in Belgaum city and whereas the Police have found it impossible to secure evidence against the persons who have obstructed the public from entering liquor-shops and whereas this picketing if it continues is likely to cause a disturbance now therefore I,B. A. Brendon, District Magistrate, Belgaum, do require each one of you and all. other persons, to forthwith desist from picketing or causing to be picketed the liquor-shops in any part of the Belgaum District and I hereby warn you that any breach of this order will be punishable under Section 188, Indian Penal Code.

2. The second order, issued on the 23rd of April, was as under:-

Whereas it appears that certain persons, not withstanding my order of the 20th Instant prohibiting the picketing of liquor shops, do now sit in front of or near liquor shops in Belgaum city and continually shout 'Do not drink' or words to this effect, and whereas this continual shouting is likely to cause annoyance to persons lawfully employed, now therefore I, B. A. Brendon, District Magistrate Belgaum, do hereby require all persons to abstain from shouting the aforesaid words or other words of the same purport in public places in Belgaum city and Cantonment and I hereby warn all persons that a breach of this order is punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

3. The jurisdiction of the District Magistrate to issue such orders as the above under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code is not questioned-indeed it was admitted-before us in revision but it is contended that both the orders, as they stand, are illegal, because (it is urged) they do not state, as required by the second para of the section, 'the material facts of the case' which led to the necessity for this promulgation. 'Whether the material facts are stated in such a way as to amount to substantial compliance with the section must depend on the circumstances of each case. Here each of the orders begins with a brief reference to the circumstances which compelled the District Magistrate to take action under Section 144. The District Magistrate has made the necessity sufficiently clear in the orders in dispute.

4. The finding of the lower Court that there has been a disobedience to the orders on the part of the petitioner is attacked on three grounds which must now be considered. First, no offence can be said to have been committed under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code unless there has been disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant and the said disobedience has caused or tended to cause some obstruction, annoyance, or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any persons lawfully employed. It is urged that the learned Magistrate who has convicted the petitioner has merely found the fact of disobedience proved but that his judgment is silent on the question of obstruction, annoyance or injury, because no evidence was led to prove this second essential ingredient of the offence. As the trial in the lower Court was summary, the record presents no notes of the evidence led before the Magistrate. In such a case, where the law does not compel the. Magistrate to record the evidence or even make short notes of it, we are not to presume that there was no evidence led before him to justify his finding. In this connection it is noticeable that among the points, which the Magistrate in his judgment says were argued before him for the defence, there is none relating in the remotest degree to the objection now urged before us. Further, the objection finds no place whatever in the memorandum of application on which this rule was granted. From the short summary which is given by the Magistrate at the outset of his judgment we can form a clear idea of the nature of the evidence given by the prosecution in support of their case. In that summary the learned Magistrate points out that a number of young men, including the present petitioner, having been found preaching and patrolling the roads near the liquor shops in Belgaum city, some shouting 'Dont drink,'' and using offensive language in addition to those words such as, 'If you drink, it will be as if you drink the blood of your children', others stopping people going into the liquor ships, the Police reported the matter to the District Magistrate, who thereupon issued the two orders now in question; that nevertheless the young men including the petitioner 'continued their crusade as before.' The words ' as before' can bear but one meaning, viz., that the youths in shouting the words 'Dont drink' used in addition offensive language (such as that above quoted from the Magistrate's summary) in the same manner that they had done before the date of the order. Now, if objectionable language of that kind was uttered by the youths they have clearly brought themselves within the criminal law. It is one thing to persuade a man not to drink; it is another to say that if he drinks he will be drinking the blood of his children. A reasonable man may justly complain of language of the latter kind. Under Section 188 of the Penal Code it is sufficient to constitute the offence if the act of disobedience has tended to cause annoyance. Objectionable language such as 'If you drink, you will be drinking the blood of your children' speaks for itself, no further evidence than the words used is required to prove that it has a tendency to cause annoyance to persons lawfully employed.

5. The second objection to the conviction urged before us is that v the place from which the petitioner did the shouting against drink has been found by the Magistrate to have been the verandah of a private house, whereas the order of the District Magistrate which forbade shouting applied only to a public place. But if a man standing on a private place adjoining a public road shouts into the road words deliberately meant for persons using that road, he is as much shouting in a public place as if he stood on the road itself and shouted. This is on the analogy of the principle of law enumerated in Reg. v. Thallman (1863) 9 Cox. 388 where a man exposed himself indecently on a roof at the back of a house in London, so as to be visible to persons in a public place and it was held that 'in order to render a person liable to an indictment for indecently exposing his person in a public place it is not necessary that the exposure should be made in a place open to the public. If the act is done where a great number of persons may be offended by it, and several see it, it is sufficient.'

6. The last objection raised before us to the Magistrate's judgment is that there is no finding on the question of picketing. It is true that much of the discussion in the judgment related to shouting ; but there is a distinct finding at the end of the judgment as to picketing also.

7. We discharge the rule and confirm the conviction and sentence.


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