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B. Moosa Mohammad and ors. Vs. Amin - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. Petn. Nos. 392 to 395 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1967Ker194; 1967CriLJ1330
ActsLaccadive Islands and Minocoy Regulation, 1912 - Sections 10C; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 107 and 112
AppellantB. Moosa Mohammad and ors.
RespondentAmin
Appellant Advocate K.T. Thomas and; P.K. Shamsuddin, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateSpecial Prosecutor
DispositionPetitions allowed
Cases ReferredQueen v. Kader Khan
Excerpt:
.....peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or dirturb the public tranquillity, or xx xx he may require such person to execute a bond. we have been taken through the entire evidence and after reading extracts of the speeches we are not satisfied that the speeches read as a whole can be said to be an incitement to violence even though reference was made to religion. 4. section 10-c like section 107, crl. the section is not intended to afford the authorities a means of getting hold of a person who is not in the good books of the authorities and against whom they cannot prove any specific offence. on a careful consideration of the entire evidence we are not satisfied that a proper case has been made out necessitating..........the apprehended breach of the peace or wrongful act which might probably lead to a breach of the peace. 'wrongful act' must necessarily' mean act wrongful according to some law. it is not intended to prevent lawful acts which might result in a breach of the peace because of the wrongful or unlawful acts of others. a wrongful act is an act forbidden or wrongful by law and is not an improper act. it has not been shown under what provision of law the holding of the meeting would be an unlawful act. the crucial words in the section are 'is likely' and not 'were likely' and so similar acts or acts of violence in the past by itself do not justify action under the section. here the specific act against the petitioners is that they arranged and addressed a meeting on 5-2-65. in recording.....
Judgment:

Govinda Menon, J.

1. In these four petitions each of the petitioners were proceeded against under Section 10-C (b) of the Laccadive Islands and Minicoy Regulation-1 of 1012 (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation). Proceedings were started on the report of the Amin of the Minicoy Island that these four petitioners have been indulging in a false propaganda against the Island administration and that action under Section 10-C of the Regulation has to be taken against them. Section 10-C (b) of the Regulation reads as follows :--

'Whenever, after such inquiry as he thinks fit, the Inspecting Officer or tie Collector or any of the Collector's Assistants empowered under Sub-section (1) of Section 10-A is satisfied that any person in the islands-

(b) is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or dirturb the public tranquillity, or

XX XX he may require such person to execute a bond....'

2. This section corresponds to Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Section 107 contemplates a notice under Section 112 setting forth the substance of (he information received, the amount of the bond to be executed etc. Section 107 is only preventive and not punitive. The persons proceeded against are not strictly accused and no question of framing charges or finding the accused guilty and sentencing him arises as was mistakenly done in this case. Even so, in the charge framed what the wrongful acts were have not been mentioned. Notice should contain definite particulars and not vague recitals of the words of the section. Here there is only a vague statement that the petitioners are indulging in wrongful acts. that might probably occasion a breach of the peace and disturb the public tranquillity by inciting the inhabitants of the island to defy the constituted authority of the Island Administration. The information of the kind contemplated in the section must be of a clear and definite kind directly affecting the persons against whom arocess are issued and it should disclose tangible facts and details so that it may afford notice to such person of what specific accusation he has to meet and to prepare for his evidence. Again there does not appear that there was any information before the Magistrate to show that these petitioners were likely to commit any particular breach of the peace or that they were likely to commit any wrongful acts which were likely to lead to a breach of the peace. There was nothing in the report to show that they were contemplating doing anything in future which would lead to a breach of the peace. The object of the section is to guard against the apprehended breach of the peace or wrongful act which might probably lead to a breach of the peace. 'Wrongful Act' must necessarily' mean act wrongful according to some law. It is not intended to prevent lawful acts which might result in a breach of the peace because of the wrongful or unlawful acts of others. A wrongful act is an act forbidden or wrongful by law and is not an improper act. It has not been shown under what provision of law the holding of the meeting would be an unlawful act. The crucial words in the section are 'is likely' and not 'were likely' and so similar acts or acts of violence in the past by itself do not justify action under the section. Here the specific act against the petitioners is that they arranged and addressed a meeting on 5-2-65. In recording evidence in the case too much of inadmissible evidence has been led in and there is considerable force in the submission made by the learned counsel for the petitioners that the petitioners have been greatly prejudiced.

3. The view taken about Section 107 as early as in 1876 by the Madras High Court is to be found in the decision in Queen v. Kader Khan (ILR 5 Mad 380). There the Magistrate called upon certain persons to show cause why they should not be bound over to keep the peace because complaints had been madegainst them that they were constantely creat-ing disturbance in certain bazaars, -and they were required to enter into bonds for keeping the peace. The High Court expressed the opinion that the act of which information is given and in respect of which security is required must be an act which is shown to be in contemplation at the time of the information given and not merely one a repetition of which may be expected or apprehended from past misconduct, of the kind without anything further. Any subsequent case in which this view was departed from or modified has not been brought to our notice. There must be a likelihood of the commission in the near future of a particular breach of the peace or wrongful act likely to lead to a breach of the peace. Learned Magistrate seems to have proceeded on the basis that if a man has been doing something involving a breach of the peace in the past, that by itself is sufficient to justify an order directing him to furnish security for keeping the peace. There is no finding in this case by the Magistrate that the petitioners are likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity or do any wrongful act that might probably occasion a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity. In the order what the Magistrate says is that he finds the accused guilty of the charges framed against him and accordingly convict him for the offence with which he is charged under Section 10-C (b). This is not what is. required in the section. There must be a finding that the petitioners are likely to commit a breach of the peace or any wrongful act occasioning a breach of the peace. In the absence of such a finding the order cannot be sustained. We have been taken through the entire evidence and after reading extracts of the speeches we are not satisfied that the speeches read as a whole can be said to be an incitement to violence even though reference was made to religion.

4. Section 10-C like Section 107, Crl. P. C. are provisions which may easily be made ah engine of injustice and oppression and the High Court has to exercise the closest scrutiny to prevent the same. The section is not intended to afford the authorities a means of getting hold of a person who is not in the good books of the authorities and against whom they cannot prove any specific offence. On a careful consideration of the entire evidence we are not satisfied that a proper case has been made out necessitating the binding over the petitioners.

5. The revision petitions are allowed andthe order of the Court below is set aside.


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