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The Public Prosecutor Vs. Sunku Seethiah and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1911)ILR34Mad92
AppellantThe Public Prosecutor
RespondentSunku Seethiah and ors.
Cases ReferredPonnusami v. The Queen I.L.R.
Excerpt:
penal code, act xlv of 1860, sections 296, 39 - public worship, disturbance of--'voluntarily', meaning of. - .....action disturbed the worship. the charge against the accused is under section 296 of the indian penal code. under that section it is an offence voluntarily to cause disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship. a person is said to cause an effect voluntarily when he causes it by means whereby he intended to cause it, or by means, which at the time of employing those means, he knew, or had reason to believe to be likely to cause it (see section 39, indian penal code). it is not therefore necessary for the purpose of section 296, indian penal code, that the accused should have had an active intention to disturb religious worship, it is sufficient, if knowing they were likely to disturb it by their music they took the risk and did actually cause.....
Judgment:

1. We think it is satisfactorily proved in this case that certain hours, which are not attacked as unreasonable, were to the knowledge of the accused fixed for public worship in the mosque and notified by the District! Magistrate; that the hour between 6 P.M. and 7 P.M. is one of those hours; that the accused passed in procession before the mosque with music between 6 P.M. and 7 P.M. while public religious worship was going on, and that the accused by their action disturbed the worship. The charge against the accused is under Section 296 of the Indian Penal Code. Under that section it is an offence voluntarily to cause disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship. A person is said to cause an effect voluntarily when he causes it by means whereby he intended to cause it, or by means, which at the time of employing those means, he knew, or had reason to believe to be likely to cause it (see Section 39, Indian Penal Code). It is not therefore necessary for the purpose of Section 296, Indian Penal Code, that the accused should have had an active intention to disturb religious worship, It is sufficient, if knowing they were likely to disturb it by their music they took the risk and did actually cause disturbance. According to the decisions of this Court in Muthialu Chetti v. Bapun Saib I.L.R. (1880) Mad. 140 and Sundaram v. The Queen, Ponnusami v. The Queen I.L.R. (1883) Mad. 203 the accused had no right to pass the mosque with music so as to disturb religious worship going on in the mosque during the hours which had been notified as the hours in which religious worship would be carried on. The Head Assistant Magistrate was therefore wrong in holding that the accused were protected by Section 79, Indian Penal Code. We find the accused Nos. 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 guilty under Section 296, Indian Penal Code. The first accused is fined Rs. 30 with three weeks' simple imprisonment in default. Accused Nos. 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 are fined Rs. 5 each with one week's simple imprisonment in default.


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