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Prithvi Singh Azad Vs. Ajaib Singh Sindhu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberF.A.F.O. No. 7-E of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1965P& H463
ActsRepresentation of the People Act, 1951 - Sections 123(3)
AppellantPrithvi Singh Azad
RespondentAjaib Singh Sindhu and ors.
Cases ReferredKultar Singh v. Mukhtiar Singh
Excerpt:
- sections 100-a [as inserted by act 22 of 2002], 110 & 104 & letters patent, 1865, clause 10: [dr. b.s. chauhan, cj, l. mohapatra & a.s. naidu, jj] letters patent appeal order of single judge of high court passed while deciding matters filed under order 43, rule1 of c.p.c., - held, after introduction of section 110a in the c.p.c., by 2002 amendment act, no letters patent appeal is maintainable against judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge of a high court. a right of appeal, even though a vested one, can be taken away by law. it is pertinent to note that section 100-a introduced by 2002 amendment of the code starts with a non obstante clause. the purpose of such clause is to give the enacting part of an overriding effect in the case of a conflict with laws mentioned with the.....(1) this appeal has been preferred from the order of the learned election tribunal, ambala, d/- 14-5-1964, dismissing the election petition filed by shri prithvi singh azad questioning the election of shri ajaib singh the successful candidate to the punjab legislative assembly from the morinda constituency. the polling in question took place on 24-2-1962 and the result of the election was declaration on 26-2-1962. on the counting ajaib singh secured 19,592 votes and pirthvi singh 19,320. there were also two other contesting candidates but were are not concerned with them in the present proceedings.(2) the election of the ajaib singh was challenged on a number of grounds, including improper acceptance of his votes and also improper rejection of the petitioners appellant's votes; wrong.....
Judgment:

(1) This appeal has been preferred from the order of the learned Election Tribunal, Ambala, D/- 14-5-1964, dismissing the election petition filed by Shri Prithvi Singh Azad questioning the election of Shri Ajaib Singh the successful candidate to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Morinda constituency. The polling in question took place on 24-2-1962 and the result of the election was declaration on 26-2-1962. On the counting Ajaib Singh secured 19,592 votes and Pirthvi Singh 19,320. There were also two other contesting candidates but were are not concerned with them in the present proceedings.

(2) The election of the Ajaib Singh was challenged on a number of grounds, including improper acceptance of his votes and also improper rejection of the petitioners appellant's votes; wrong inclusion of the petitioners appellants ballot appears in those of the respondent and also wrong exclusion of the former's ballot papers from his count. In addition, allegations of corrupt practice of undue influence have been made: in the present appeal, at this stage, however, so far as this charge goes, we are only concerned with the quest whether the publication of four posters, Exhibits P. 1, P. 5, P. 11 and P. 12 fall within the mischief of S. 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (hereinafter called the Act), and vitiate the impugned election.

(3) A request was also made to the Tribunal for a recount of the votes which was allowed and after inspection of the ballot boxes and recount, it was discovered that several hundred ballot papers were missing from the ballot boxes. That they were so found missing when inspected in the Tribunal is common ground and has not been disputed by the parties before us. The controversy in this Court on this point has, however been confined within a narrow compass. The appellant has emphatically stressed that the fact of missing ballot papers on the existing material on the record must be held to be imputable or traceable to the misconduct of the officers deputed to count the votes polled at the election; support for this submission has been sought from the conclusion of the learned Tribunal that no pilfering of ballot papers was shown to have occurred during the inspection of the ballot boxes in pursuance of its order and also from the contention that the ballot boxes after they were sealed by the election officers are shown to have been kept in property and safer official custody where there was no reasonably chance of being tampered with. Emphasis has been laid on behalf of the appellant that he had during the counting process ventilated his grievance in regard to the impartial and honest counting of the ballot papers and had indeed also claimed a recount which was erroneously disallowed by the Returning Officer.

(4) The respondent have on the other had argued with equally vehemence that the Tribunal has not come to any positive finding of there being on pilfering during the inspection ordered by it and that in any case such a finding is also reviewable by this Court. The counsel has body asserted that it was the appellant who, in all probability, removed the missing ballot papers from the ballot boxes with the object of wining the election petition. In this connection he has leveled criticism against the appellant's conduct during the inspection of the ballot boxes in the it below, the main point being that he did not care to bring to the notice of the Tribunal or its officials immediately on discovering that some ballot papers were missing. To the appellant's argument that it was preposterous to expect a person in his position to stoop so low as to remove ballot papers in the alleged, it has been contended that the probabilities support the respondents' suggestion, particularly when no content and reasonable grounds have been made out for the claim to a recount urged by the appellant before the Returning Officer. The respondent have in addition challenged the order of the learned Tribunal granting his inspection of the ballot boxes on the ground that the same have been ordered without cogent and sufficient reasons. This is followed by challenge to the order permitting amendment of the petition.

(5) The appellant has tried to meet the challenge to the Tribunal's order allowing inspection of ballot boxes and amendment of the petition on two main grounds. To begin with, he has, in addition, drawn our attention, by way of a preliminary point to the rules made by this Court in 1959 according to which the respondent was required to have the impugned order included in the paper-book if he desired to challenge it. Since neither the application for inspection nor the order passed there on are before us in the paper-book, this Court, it is emphasised, should not entertain the challenge to the order of inspection. On the merits, it has been submitted that the order of sides were permitted to inspect the ballot boxes and they actually did inspect them and count the votes.

In so far as the challenge to the votes permitting amendment of the election petition is concerned, it has been sought to be met on the ground that it was allowed on payment of costs which were duly received by the respondent; acceptance of costs, it has been stressed, disentitles the respondent now to object to the amendment. It may be pointed out that after Court, receiving the costs the respondent applied to the Court for permitting him to return the same which were stated to have been accepted under some misapprehension. But this later change of mind on the part of the respondent, as the appellant describe it, is contended to by unavailing and cannot reverts the respondent with the right to question the order of amendment.

(6) The rules framed by this Court under Clause 27 of the Letters Patent read with Arts. 225 of the Constitution relating to appeals under S. 116A of the Act provide inter alia, that on the date to be fixed by the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) after admission of the appeal for appearance of the respondent, the respondent shall be applied with a copy of the papers-book, filed by the appellant and shall be required to intimate in writing on the next working day if he wants to file a supplementary paper-book containing such other evidence, oral or documentary or other papers as he may wish to refer to and in case he gives an intimation, he is enjoined to file six typed copies of the supplementary paper-book within 14 days of the intimation herein referred to: see R. 5. The appellant it may be pointed out is also under R. 3 enjoined within 15 days form the date of admission of the appeal to supply to the Court as many typed/printed copies of the paper-books referred to in R. 4 as there may be respondent to be served together with five extra for the use of the Court. The proviso to this rule, however, authorises the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) in special Circumstances to extend the period of supplying paper-book to a fortnight on a written application made to him in his behalf. The paper book, according to Rule 4, is to contain :--

(i) Index.

(ii) Memorandum of Appeal.

(iii) Judgment or order under appeal.

(iv) The Election Petition.

(v) Written Statement.

(vi) Supplementary statements, and statements of the parties or their pleaders recorded under rules 1 and 2 of Order X of C. P.C.,

(vii) Oral evidence recorded in the case, and

(viii) Such other documents or papers as the appellant wishes to refer to.

It has been stated by the respondent' counsel at the bar that he had never been called upon to intimate if he wanted to file a supplementary paper-book and that for this reason he has not been able to do the needful. From the record, we have not been able to find whether Rule 5 was complied with. In the Circumstances, we have not considered it proper to shut out the respondent from addressing us on the challenge to the order allowing inspection of ballot boxes and the amendment of the election petition, for, a mistake or lapse on the part of the office of this Court should not be allowed to prejudice a suitor in the prosecution or defense of his cause, more particularly when the issue relates to challenge to the election of a legislator in which the entire constituency would obviously be vitally interested, We are, however, by no means satisfied if the respondent can be completely absolved of his own responsibility in seeing as soon as he come to know o the case being complete that steps are taken to prepare that supplementary paper-book as required by the rules. Time would certainly have been extended on his request.

(7) On the merits of the contention costs having been accepted, the amendment of the petition is no longer open to challenge by the respondent at this stage. Indeed after allowing inspection the amendment in question seemed reasonably to follow. Regarding inspection of ballot boxes too, it appears that it was more or less an agreed order and no serious it was more or less and agreed order and no serious objection was raised to it. On this view, it is hardly necessary to consider at length the arguments addressed at the bar whether or not the plea for inspection scrutiny and recount was made out and if the amendment of the petition was justified; Suffice it to state that reference at the bar has in his connection been made to Ram Sewak v. Hussain Kamil, Air 1964 S C 1249 and Gurwaryam Singh v. Narain Singh F. A. O. No. 9-E of 1963 (Punj) and Giani Kattar Sing v. Jagjit Singh, F. A. O. No. 3-E of 1964 (Punj) the Bench decision of this Court decided on 20-10-1963 and 29-5-1964 respectively.

(8) Considerable arguments have been addressed by both sides on the question whether at the counting of votes, the Returning Officer, the counting supervisors, the counting Assistants and all other connected with the counting has performed their duties efficiently and impartially or whether some of them had intentionally tried to favour Ajaib Singh respondent to the prejudice and at cost of Prithvi Singh Azad, appellant. It is true that the Returning Officer, Shri Gurdial Singh Fiji, R. W. 1, has not impressed us as an officer on whose efficiency much reliance can be placed. (Their Lordships discussed his testimony and continued :)

I have dealt with this witness's testimony at some length because of the seriousness of the allegation s made against this witness who had been entrusted with the duty requiring the highest degree of efficiency and integrity, an aspect to which I will advert later. But in spite of the unsatisfactory character of his evidence, we are not satisfied that the material on the record justifies finding that bogus votes were credited to the respondent as the appellant would have this Court believe and hold.

(9) The appellant's learned counsel in his opening address attempted to establish serious errors in counting as recorded in forms No. 16 on the record but after hearing the respondent, the appellant's learned counsel did not seriously press this point. His only contention which has been strongly urged is that if, as found by the learned Tribunal, there was no pilfering done during the inspection of the ballot boxes and the ballot boxes were properly sealed after counting, then the only reasonably alternative left before this Court to hold is that the missing votes were wrongly credited to the respondent at the time of counting. As against this, the respondents' learned counsel has with equal vehemence urged that it was the appellant Shri Prithvi Singh Azad, who, in view of the fact that the ballot boxes has been properly sealed at the time of counting, must be held to have pilfered the missing ballot papers when he was inspecting them. It has been contended that there were moments when the Ahlmad as well as the respondent and his agents were absent and the appellant had adequate opportunity of doing the mischief.

(10) It is difficult to come to a judicial finding in support of either of these two contentions. The testimony of Shri Harbans Lal, Ahlmad, District and Sessions Judge's Court, Ambala as R. W. 29, has given us the version about the procedure adopted at the time of inspection of the ballot boxes by the parties. On a Court question, he had deposed that the papers which were either taken out or put in his own bag by Shri Azad were visible to him as well as to Shri Ajaib Singh or his representatives. Shri Azad never complained to him that the votes found in any bundle were less than the votes which should have been in that bundle. In this connection, it is pertinent to bear in mind that the witness used to sit on the table on which the bag containing the documents used to be placed. It is true that he had at times to be away for five or seven minutes but on his return, no complaint was ever made by him by Shri Ajaib Singh had dealt with the bundle. We are disinclined to sustain the contention that during that Ahlmad's absence Ajaib Singh or his representative would also have chosen to go away leaving the appellant, the sole master of the situation; this in the Circumstances was highly unlikely.

R. W. 29 has, however, also made the following significant statement :--

'The bundles of each pooling station has been tied with the string. Originally they has been put in a paper bag, but it appeared that paper bags got torr during transit etc. About 15 or 20 bundles had not been stitched together. On taking out those bundles I first strung all the ballot papers in one string which were found loose and then gave that bundle to Sh. Azad for inspection. There used to be index attached to the bundles which were taken out from the bags.'

This condition of the bags in which the bundles of ballot papers were put in clearly shows the most unsatisfactorily nature of the arrangements made for keeping the ballot papers pending the enquiry in to the election petition. The possibility or likelihood of some ballot papers having been accidentally lost during the course of transit can, therefore, scarcely be ruled out. At the time of counting of votes, according to the appellant, he had complained to the Returning Officer and had also claimed a recount; see Ex P. 3. In this statement in Court, he has sworn that the Returning Officer had after hearing both sides orally allowed his claim and had indeed started dictation his order; when the second paragraph of the order was begin typed, the Returning Officer had a telephone call and he went to the Tehsildar's adjoining room to attend to it. On his return, he declined that he would not allow recount, the suggestion being that the Returning Officer in disallowing recount was inflected by collateral extra-judicial consideration against his own judgment. Now this is an extremely serious charge against the officer discharging important quasi-judicial functions.

It is true that the Returning Officer appearing as R. W. 1 has stated that he may possibly have received a telephone call form Chandigrah during the period of counting and it is also true that the appellant states to have complained to the Deputy Commissioner desiring that the ballot papers be kept at Ambala and the same were accordingly sent by R. W. 1 to Ambala. But this material is far from adequate for holding that the Returning Officer has changed his mind on receiving some telephone call from Chandigrah, as is suggested in this Court from the bar. It is significant that this precise point is not contained in the election petition. The factum of a telephone call form Chandigrah could also have been proved by better and some precise evidence, though even that perhaps may not been conclusive. Mere unsatisfactory antecedents of R. W. 1 and the casual and inefficient manner in which he has performed his duties as a Returning Officer do not seem to us to prove the appellant's allegation.

The material on the record to which our attention has been invited is also insufficient to hold that the officers concerned had included in the respondent's count bogus ballot papers which are now found missing in the ballot boxes. The result, therefore, is that on this point it is not possibly for this Court to judicially sustain either of the two rival contentions. Some reference was made by the respondent's counsel to the order of the Tribunal dated 11-10-1962 disallowing the respondent's objection to the opening of the postal ballots and to the order dated 24-4-1963 upholding the appellant's objection on similar grounds but on the view taken by us, it is unnecessary to pursue this matter.

(11) This brings us to the question of the impugned posters. Dealing first with poster Exhibit P. 5, it may be point out that the learned Election Tribunal has held the contents of this poster to be hit by S. 123(3) as also by S. 123(4) of the Act. The decision relating to this issue has been given against the petitioners-appellant on the finding that it has not been proved that Ajaib Singh, respondent No. 1, has got it printed or published. The appellant's counsel has for the purpose of establishing that this poster was published by Ajaib Singh, taken us through the relevant evidence on the record. (Their Lordships went through the evidence and proceeded).

(12) The argument advanced on behalf of the appellant undoubtedly possesses some plausibility and weight and the reason that merely because a witness had initially supported the Congress candidate may not by itself be sufficient to dub him as an interested and, therefore, untrustworth witness. With the adult franchise and with increasing political consciousness expected in a reasonably healthy democracy, it may be difficult to find witnesses who have this would accordingly mean that every voter is, normally speaking, likely to have a learning either in favour of or against the various contestants in an election contest and, therefore, in a way a partisan. Complete insulation of electors from election activities appears to me to be almost inconceivable in our set up. And then, those who have not voted may with equal cogency be considered to be indifferent to and disinterested in the election process and, therefore, may invite the criticism that they have been produced with the object of obtaining convenient statements in favour of the party producing them. Be that as it may, I do not find it easy to persuade myself to sustain the broad and general proposition that merely because a witness has sympathy for a political party or has supported a candidate of a Political Party, it must by itself, and without more necessarily make him a strong partisan and, therefore, untrustworthy witness.

This is undoubtedly a relevant Circumstances, but, in my opinion, in each case the evidence of a witness has to be weighed and evaluated on his own intrinsic worth in the background of all relevant surrounding Circumstances including his personal and political leanings and social status etc. In our present state of democratic infancy and immature, shallow, political thinking and also our psychological background, I am fully conscious of the temptations of helping the successful election of one's party--candidate even at the cost of truth at the altar of power-politics and am also not oblivious of the somewhat astonishing amount of perjury which concerns us daily in our Court of law, but at the same time I am unable to uphold the broad and general unqualified argument that merely because a witness has supported a candidate of the political party of his liking, he must for that reason alone be described absence of independent corroboration.

(13) Being fully aware of the standard required in the proof of commission of corrupt practices and applying that standard, we must see if the evidence before us establishes the charges beyond the possibility of a reasonably doubt. The firsts thing that can has to bear in mind is a matter of common knowledge that the Akali Party stands for Punjabi Suba and Punjabi in Gurmukhi script and that Jan Sangh party is opposed to it. Both have, however, their grievance against the Congress Government in this State which professes to be completely non-communal and secular. It is contended that the Jan Sanghites could not join hands with the Akalis in the instant case as has been suggested. Now, printing of Exhibit P. 5 in Gurmukhi script signed by the members of Jan Sangh and addressed to the Hindu voters is by itself a Circumstances which appears to me to be a vital factor which is of considerable importance. Unless it be held that this poster was forged and brought into existence after the election for the sole purpose of creating false evidence to support the election petition, it is an extremely vocal Circumstances suggesting the collaboration between the Akali and Jan Sangh workers against Congress candidate, perhaps under the influence of the news of the abduction of Ram Murti and Bachan Singh.

This aspect appears to have been completely ignored by the learned Tribunal. Shri Ram Murit as Ram Lal P. W. 16 tells us, belonged to kurali and was a Jan Sangh candidate opposing Naranjan Singh Talib, a Congress candidate. In cross-examination, the witness has frankly admitted that he did not know Ajaib Singh but knew his father Krora Singh since long whom he saw in the jeep on 22-2-1962. I find nothing cogent or convincing to reject this statement. If he was going to make a false statement on oath, he might well have deposed to have seen Ajaib Singh as well on occasion. R. W. 45 Nasib Chand, was produced by the respondent for disproving the publication of posters and indeed the witness did state that he had not seen posters like Exhibit P. 67 and Exhibits P. 11 to 13 but he positively affirmed having seen posters like Exhibit P. 5 being distributed by Ajaib Singh. The learned Tribunal has not even noticed this witness's testimony on this point. The contention that this poster was got printed after the election is scarcely convincing.

(14) The respondent have however dray our attention to the appellant's plea in paragraph 34 of the election petition according to which Ajaib Singh himself went in Vehicle No. P. N. B. 1331 and visited the towns mentioned earlier on 22-2-1962 accompanied by his workers and distributed the said poster. Kurali is included in the those towns. It is contended and in our opinion with a certain amount of force, that the charge only relates to the publications in Kurali on 22-2-1962 and not on 23-2-1962 to which P. W. 16 has deposed R. W. 45 Nasib Chand, it was be pointed out, does not give any date when he saw posters like Exhibit P. 5 being distributed by Ajaib Singh. Eliminating the testimony of these two witnesses, therefore, in so far as other witnesses produced by the appellant in support of publication of Exhibit P. 5 are concerned, the conclusion of the learned Tribunal in declining to place implicit reliance on them does not seem to us to be in any manner erroneous so as justify reversal on appeal. It is unnecessary to repeat that in dealing with an appeal under section 116A of the Representation of the People act in common with dealing with other civil appeals the opinion of the Tribunal on appreciation of oral evidence should be given due importance. In the result, it appears to us that the appellant election petitioner's evidence regarding the publication of Exhibit P. 5 by or at the instance of the respondent, as pleaded in the election petition, has not been established beyond the possibility of a reasonable doubt.

(15) Coming now to the poster Exhibit P. 1 it is desirable to reproduce it at this stage:--

'EK ONKAR WAHGURY JI KI FATEH.

AN OLD TRAITOR OF THE COMMUNITY

IS ONCE AGAIN IN THE FIELD-

Mahasha Prithvi Sing Azad has come in the field to contest the election from the Morinda circle, every inch of the land of which had been treaded by the sacred feet of GURU MAHARAJ. He is the Mahasha who while a minister banned Amrit Prachar and propagated against Punjabi language and Punjabi Suba. to vote for him is to betray the community.

Cast your valuable vote for Sardar Ajaib Singh a Panthic candidate whose election symbol is 'Punja'.

This Punjab is the Punja of Guru Nanak who checked the tyranny of 'Bali Quandhari'. By casting vote in favour of Punja, you save us for the tyranies of Mahasha Prithvi Singh.

Afford us an opportunity to thank you by securing success to the Panthic candidate.

Servant of Guru's Panth.

Mahan Singh Jathedar,

Akali Jatha, Rupar Circle, Ambala.'

(Their Lordships considered the evidence of the points of the printing and publication of the poster.)

In our opinion, this evidence does not come up to the required standard necessary for sustaining the charge of the commission of corrupt practice; It is accordingly unnecessary to discuss the subject-matter of this poster, but it may be observed that the mild and border line nature of it s contents would also seem to negative the suggestion of its having been got printed by the appellant for using it for the purpose of vitiating the election.

(16) This brings us to Exhibit P. 11 This poster containing a prominent portrait representing the Congress as a demon with a Gandhi cap on is shown wearing a garland of 11 martyrs' heads, all of whom, without exception, have been given the appearance of Sikhs and is depicted to be trampling on two persons, one appearing to be a Sikh and the other a Nom-Sikh. At the top is written in bold letters ' Congress having become demon has round her neck a garland of martyrs' and at the bottom, it is stated that the demon Congress for the sake of its rule is suppressing the sentiments of Hindu and Sikhs and on the issue of Punjabi Suba on the basis of language, approximately sixty thousand valiants were thrown behind the bars. The garland of the heads of the martyrs is hanging round the neck of this demon Congress etc. This purports to have been printed by Bachan Singh at Gurdwara Printing Press, Amritsar, and published by Ajmer Singh, Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, Amritsar.

The question is if this poster falls within the mischief of section 123(3A) of the R. P. Act. Though the note at the bottom does say that the demon Congress is suppressing the sentiments of Hindus and Sikhs but the garland of martyrs round her neck, as shown in the portrait have all been shown to be Sikhs and the Congress is depicted to be a woman with a Gandhi, Cap gifting her the look of a Hindu Goddess. Keeping in view the background of the Punjabi Suba agitation and the communal colour given to it by both its supporters and opponents, this portrait on the poster does seem to us to betray an ingeniously disguised attempt to create feelings a discord between the Hindus and Sikhs. Two word used in the poster have to curse been carefully kept out of the prohibited arena, but the prominent portrait which dominates the whole poster, and in the background of which the entire poster must be considered, does appear to tranish even the written words at the bottom with the requisite brush of the corrupt practice tabooed in section 123(3A).

At this stage, it is hardly necessary to point out the emergent need of the nation to keep its political life free from all appeals having a clear tendency to create feelings of hostility, enmity and hatred between different section of citizens professing what may be called different creeds or religions. The tendency of a portrait like the one before us to foment and foster feelings of enmity and hatred between the Hindus and Sikhs appears to us to be clearly discernible. The learned Tribunal has taken the view that this poster is unobjectionable mainly because a Bench of this Court had in another case Kultar Singh v. Mukhtiar Singh, F. A. O. No. 5-E of 1962, D/- 31-5-1963 (Punj) held it to be innocuous.

This case has since been taken to the Supreme Court and the appeal was decided by the Court on 17-4-1964, in Kultar Singh v. Mukhtiar Singh, Civil Appeal No. 298 of 1964 : (AIR 1965 S. C. 141). In the Supreme Court, however, the effect of this poster was not canvassed but in connection with another poster, which is also subject-matter of controversy before us, it was observed while commenting on section 123(3) that the corrupt practice prescribed by that sub-section undoubtedly constitutes a very healthy and salutary provision intended to serve the cause of secular democracy in this country and in order that the democracy in this country and in the order that the democratic process should thrive and succeed, it is of utmost importance that our election to Parliament and the different legislative bodies must be free from the unhealthy influence of appeals to religion, race, caste, community or language. If such consideration are allowed any sway in election campaigns, they would vitiate the secular atmosphere of democratic life.

In the judgment of this Court in Kultar Singh's case, F. A. O. No. 5E of 1962 D/- 31-5-1963 (Punj) I do not find nay detailed discussion which would show the reasoning on the basis of which this poster was considered to be innocuous. But since the appellant's learned Counsel has refrained from developing his attack against this poster without dropping the challenge, on the plea that the earlier decision of this Court is binding on this Bench and that the counsel reserved his right to agitate the point in the Supreme Court. I deem it unnecessary to pronounce a considered opinion on it. Suffice it to say that such posters by no means tend to promote the cause of democracy of co-existence and of national integration: on the contrary they betray not only anti-national activities on the part of those who unscrupulously utilise such propaganda and there-by mislead and pervert the unsophisticated minds of credulous and emotional uneducated villagers by creating popular delusion and hysteria but they also paradise our democratic life and liberty on which depends our very existence-including the existence even of those who indulge in such anti-social disintegrating propaganda, and also of their progeny. This danger is particularly grave to-day powerful and inimical unscrupulous totalitarian States. Propaganda of this type they deserves unequivocal discouragement overall enlightened peace-loving progressive democratic citizens who love their country and freedom. A politician who plays upon communal, sectarian or parochial prejudices in order to secure himself power is in the long run a traitor to his country and unfriendly to posterity. Communalism a political motive encourages the defects it seeks or professes to remedy.

(17) I may also in passing advert to another aspect before concluding. Prior to the appearance in public life of power-seeking professional politicians, devoid of conscience, but desirous of obtaining, for their selfish personal ends, popular following among the mass of men, who are largely governed by emotion rather than reason, the Hindus and the Sikhs were never thought of in terms of separate entitles. Even today, there are happily innumerable instances of one brother being a Hindu and another a Sikh, living affectionately together as members of one family and even as coparceners. Proper education and training in democratic, liberal and tolerant way of life would of course revive their closeness, as indeed it would also foster feelings of fraternity and national integration irrespective of different religious faiths and creeds among all the citizens of this Republic, who are sons of the same soil, breath the same air and have common interests, traditions and ideals. It is the duty as also the privilege of our democratic set up to educate the common man on true lines of liberal tolerant democratic morality and co-existence and of human brotherhood and equality. The progress of our society in this direction during the last seventeen years of freedom has somehow not been what was expected and certainly not what is required to adequately equip the common man for healthy discrimination between what is good and what is bad for the integrated nation as w whole. Our full healthy development as indeed our very existence as a civilized free nation governed in practice by the principles enshrined in our Constitution truly depends on the extend to which we succeed in achieving this objective within the shortest possible time.

(18) For the foregoing reasons, we are constrained to dismiss this appeal, but the parties are in the peculiar Circumstances of the case directed to bear their own costs throughout.

(19) Appeal dismissed.


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