Sulaiman, Ag. C.J.
1. Mr. Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, Editor, Printer and Publisher of the Partab Newspaper, Cawnpore, has been called upon to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of the Court of Mr. Mahendra Prasad, Magistrate of Allahabad, committed on account of an article headed 'Naini Jail riot and Mr. Dublis,' which appeared in his paper on 22nd April 1928. The article in question was undoubtedly a most offensive article and the tone and language employed indicate that the intention of the accused was to make the public believe that the accused persons had been oppressed by the jail authorities and provoked into disobedience. The article contained a passage, among others, expressing the opinion of the editor that he
could unhesitatingly say that Mr. Dublis (one of the accused) is by no means one of those young men who involve others in trouble by inciting them and try to save their own skin.
2. There was a further suggestion that prisoner witnesses inside the jail were in a helpless position and could be made to make any false statement that the jail authorities wanted them to make because they had to be submissive to them and before them they 'trembled like a cane.' In our opinion, there can be no doubt that the article in question was calculated to influence the mind of not only the prosecution witnesses but also the general public, and was therefore highly prejudicial to a fair trial, though very likely no great harm has been actually done. The object of writing appears to have been to prejudice the public against the merits of the prosecution. The act amounted to a gross contempt of the Court of the Magistrate, was highly reprehensible and cannot be overlooked.
3. The accused, however, has admitted his guilt before us and tendered an unconditional apology throwing himself on the mercy of the Court. Having taken all the circumstances into consideration, we have come to the conclusion that although we must and do find the accused guilty of the offence with which he is charged, we do not think that we should, in view of his apology, impose any punishment on him. We accordingly let him off with a warning, and we trust that he will take good care in future to respect the dignity of Courts, and not commit any such offence again. We direct that he should pay the costs of these proceedings including counsel's fee which we assess at Rs. 100.