Skip to content


In Re: M. Pachiappan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. Nos. 837, 1059 and 1060 and Cri. Revn. Petn. Nos. 773, 994 and 995 of 1949
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Mad364
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 206; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 124A
AppellantIn Re: M. Pachiappan and ors.
Appellant AdvocateA. Ramachandran, Adv. for ; Rao and Reddy (in No. 837) and ;S. Krishnamurthi, Adv. [in Nos. 1059 and 1060)
Respondent AdvocateCrown Prosecutor
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....1947 when the british quit india and india has recovered its..........under section 124a, penal code,' in c. c. nos. 2191, 2017 and 3211 of 1949 on the file of the chief presidency magistrate, madras, requesting me to interfere in revision with the order of the chief presidency magistrate of madras refusing to commit these oases to the high court sessions for trial, and reserving the cases for disposal by himself. 2. the learned counsel for all the petitioners in these cases contends that the learned chief presidency magistrate was wrong in refusing to commit the cases for trial to the high court sessions in view of the observations of kuppuswami ayyar j. in in re ramarathnam : air1946mad349 . i have looked into that ruling and do not consider that it will apply to the facts of this case. as the learned crown prosecutor urged, that ruling went on the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. These are petitions filed by three persons, Pachiappan, Velayudham and Gajapathi, accused of offences under Section 124A, Penal Code,' in C. C. Nos. 2191, 2017 and 3211 of 1949 on the file of the Chief Presidency Magistrate, Madras, requesting me to interfere in revision with the order of the Chief Presidency Magistrate of Madras refusing to commit these oases to the High Court sessions for trial, and reserving the cases for disposal by himself.

2. The learned counsel for all the petitioners in these cases contends that the learned Chief Presidency Magistrate was wrong in refusing to commit the cases for trial to the High Court sessions in view of the observations of Kuppuswami Ayyar J. in In re Ramarathnam : AIR1946Mad349 . I have looked into that ruling and do not consider that it will apply to the facts of this case. As the learned Crown Prosecutor urged, that ruling went on the particular facts of the case, there being two peculiar and distinguishing facts. One of them was that the mother tongue of the then Chief Presidency Magistrate was Urdu, and Kuppuswami Ayyar J. was not sure whether his knowledge of Tamil, in spite of his passing a test in Tamil, would be sufficient to enable him to understand the alleged seditious article with all its implications and to consider and decide what impression it was likely to create upon the Tamil reading public. Here, of course, the case is different. The Chief Presidency Magistrate is a Goundar and a Pucca Tamilian well acquainted with the Tamil language and all its shades and nuances of meaning, and fully competent to understand the alleged seditious speeches with all their implications and to consider what impression they were likely to create upon the Tamil reading or hearing public. The second special circumstance which seems to have weighed with Kuppuswami Ayyar J. was that, perhaps, the seditious article in that case might require a sentence higher than what the Chief Presidency Magistrate would be competent to inflict, and that therefore, the case deserved to be committed to the High Court Sessions for imposing the appropriate sentence. Here the alleged seditious speeches have been made by the accused, comparatively obscure persons to comparatively insignificant audiences, and the sentences, even if they are found guilty and convicted, will never exceed the competency of the Chief Presidency Magistrate, as he himself has remarked. Kuppuswami Ayyar J. has not stated that all cases under Section 124A, Penal Code, in the city of Madras should be committed to the High Court sessions. Indeed, he has remarked that, since the Legislature has not directed that sedition cases should be tried solely by a Sessions Court, the Chief Presidency Magistrate would be entitled to try it in suitable cases. That is also obvious from the schedule to the Criminal Procedure Code which says, under the heading 'by what Court triable', regarding an offence under Section 124A, Penal Code, 'Court of Session, Chief Presidency Magistrate, etc.' It is in my opinion, neither desirable nor expedient to commit all cases of sedition big or small, important or unimportant, sensational or petty, to the High Court sessions, wasting high judicial power when minor cases of this description can easily be dealt with by the Chief Presidency Magistrate, especially when he is a person fully acquainted with the language in which the speeches were made, and competent to inflict the punishment deserved in such cases even if conviction ensues.

3. Lastly, it was urged that the Chief Presidency Magistrate has, in his order, remarked that the decision in In re Bamarathnam : AIR1946Mad349 was rendered in January 1946, when the politicalconditions of our country were absolutely different, and that he has not mentioned what the difference is in the political conditions between then and now, and that he is also not justified in referring to any change in political conditions as a reason for his passing a judicial order. It is obvious that what the Chief Presidency Magistrate meant was that sedition in 1946, under British rule, when the Indians were fighting a non-violent war of independence against the British, might be dealt with by Magistrates sitting singly rather severely and without consideration, as they were paid servants of the British Raj, and that the accused would perhaps get better consideration when tried by a jury of their own country men whose sympathies would naturally be with the independence movement, but that such considerations have changed after 15th August 1947 when the British quit India and India has recovered its independence. Though I am decidedly of opinion that this political argument was quite unnecessary for supporting his order, and has given rise to this criticism, still I cannot say that it was altogether out of place. A Magistrate or a Judge is as much a human being as any other person, and under Section 114, Evidence Act, he too can refer to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business. Of course, the learned counsel for the petitioners is right in saying that the change of political conditions need not necessarily make the ruling in In re Ramarathnam : AIR1946Mad349 , obsolete or unnecessary. Anyway, as this matter is of little importance for either supporting the order of the Chief Presidency Magistrate, or deciding the main question as to which Court is to try these three offences, I do not find it necessary to discuss it further.

4. These petitions deserve to be, and are hereby dismissed.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //