1. Mr. Dandekar has been convicted of an offence under Section 124-A, I.P.C., in so far as that he made a speech bringing or attempting to bring into hatred or contempt, or excite or attempting to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in (British India. From such a conviction an appeal is permitted direct to this Court. After reading the statement of the appellant in the Court of the District Magistrate I felt doubt as to his desire to appeal. He seems to glory in his condition and feel very happy in the position which he has created for himself. His learned counsel Mr. Malaviya assured me that though he had received instructions from the friends of the appellants, those friends had consulted the appellant who desired an appeal. That was the reason why I did not think it necessary to make direct enquiry from the appellant himself. Mr. Malaviya has read the entire speech to me. Such a speech should be considered to be seditious or otherwise, according to the impression which it would create on the mind of the audience. When I put this conclusion before Mr. Malaviya he quoted a ruling of the Calcutta High Court that the gist of the offence lies in the intention of the writer. Intention however, is connected with consequences.
2. To intend a thing is to act in such a way as to expect that certain consequences would follow. Intention therefore is correlated with the natural consequences which must follow from a particular act. His further argument was that there has been so much talk at present of independence of the country, that this talk must have reached the small town of Bewar in the backward district of Mainpuri, that Ahirs and Chamars-that is not what he said but that was the interpretation that I put on what he said-would be full of ideas of independence of the country, that therefore Mr. Dandekar's speech would have little effect in increasing the height to which such ideas had reached in the minds of the cultivators of Bewar. I do not think that Mr. Dandekar himself would relish that his efforts were treated with such little consideration. It is quite true that being in the judiciary I have had no opportunity of going round the country and discovering whether the tenantry in remote places like Mainpuri and Bewar had imbibed the ideas of independence. However that may be, it cannot be said that the speech even if it brought the Government into hatred and contempt could be considered to be innocuous because such hatred and contempt cannot be increased from the standard that now exists in the mind of the tenantry. I do not desire to quote from the speech and to give it a publicity which was not open to Mr. Dandekar himself. The principle that I adopt is to read the speech myself and to discover what my feeling would be if I accepted all the statements made therein to be true. Mr. Malaviya was quita correct in saying that I cannot place myself in the position of the tenantry who listened to the speech because of the difference in education and the want of capacity in the tenants to test the truth of what Mr. Dandekar stated. To that extent, a speech made to an audience such as was available in Bewar would be more harmful than a speech made to partially educated man like myself. There would be in an audience composed of men like me some desire to test the allegations made by a speaker. There would be absolutely none in the town of Bewar. The speech is a very clever one. It is very easy to see how, with every desire to incite, the speaker, believes that he is keeping within the law by attributing to himself personally peaceful motives and conduct. He is willing to harm and yet afraid to strike. What he has said in effect is that he himself is a follower of the Mahatma whose precept is that of non-violence but at the same time who is he to find fault with people who in their anger at oppression such as is witnessed at present under the present Government use more violent methods and shoot at members of the Assembly. He exhorts his audience to reserve their judgment as regards such acts because such acts have led to the independence of other countries. The impression on my mind is that the speaker desired to tell the audience:
'I am not violent but do not follow my example. I would not blame you if you are violent.
3. All through the speech he insinuates various disabilities of village life to be due to the present Government. Clearly then there is an intention on his part to bring the present Government into hatred. I am of opinion that Mr. Dandekar has been rightly convicted and dismiss his appeal.