1. This is an application made by one Mr. Ambika Charan De, described as the Joint Secretary of the District Bar Association, Sylhet. He has obtained this Rule on behalf of 23 persons who were tried by the Extra Assistant Commissioner, Sylhet, and convicted of offences puhishable under Sections 145 and 151, I.P.C. They have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment ranging from two years rigorous imprisonment under Section 145 to six months rigorous imprisonment under Section 145. They have all been in addition sentenced to-six months under Section 151, but the Extra Assistant Commissioner directed that in each case the sentences should run concurrently. It appears that the accused persons on 26th January 1932, formed a procession which started from the Congress Office in the town of Sylhet. They are said to have proceeded in such a way that the traffics was not obstructed. When they reached the Government Muslim Hostel, they were met by a party of police officers under the command of the Assistant. Superintendent of Police, who directed them to proceed by a route different from that which they were hitherto following. They thereupon sat down on the ground in the public road and, it is said, caused obstruction to the traffic. The Superintendent of Police and the Additional District Magistrate, Mr. Mitra, arrived shortly after this. Mr. Mitra considering that the procession was likely to cause a breach of the public peace commanded it to disperse.
2. It is not suggested that at any stage, Mr. Mitra exceeded the powers which the law gives him. After five minutes as the meeting had failed to disperse, Mr. Mitra directed Mr. Jacques, the Assistant Superintendent of Police to disperse it by force. This Mr. Jacques did and arrested the accused persons. At the trial they refused to take any part in the proceedings or to make any statements. The evidence therefore proving the facts which I have set out was uncontradicted. Moreover the accused have not seen fit to prefer an appeal from their convictions and sentences as they were entitled to do under the law. I will assume however for the purposes of dealing with the case that the petitioner is entitled to move this Court in revision although by reason of the provision of Section 439, sub Section (5), Criminal P. C, this Court is precluded from entertaining any proceedings by way of revision at the instance of a party who could have appealed but has not done so.
3. First with regard to the convictions the petitioner admits that no exception could be taken to the conviction under Section 151. With regard to the conviction under Section 145 it was a question of fact to be dealt with and decided by the Extra Assistant Commissioner whether the assembly of which the accused persons were admittedly members had an unlawful common object. He has found as a fact that they had the common object of resisting the execution of lawful orders given by the Assistant Superintendent of Police and the Additional District Magistrate. There is ample evidence to justify him in coming to the conclusion. It appears that no general or special notice had been issued under Section 30(2), Police. Act, 1861. Therefore no exception could be taken to the procession on the ground that no license had been applied for or issued. However the conduct of the processionists in sitting on the ground when ordered to take a different route and refusing to disperse when called upon to do so, coupled with the fact that the conduct of the accused proved that the procession was animated by hostility to the established Government, amply justified the Extra Assistant Commissioner in finding that from the very outset, or at any rate from the time Mr. Jacques gave directions to the processionists to go by another route, the processionists were determined to disregard and disobey any lawful orders that the police or the Magistrate might give him. Therefore the conclusion to which the Extra Assistant Commissioner has come, has evidence to support it, and speaking for myself, I have no doubt whatever that it is the right one.
4. With regard to the sentences they are undoubtedly heavy, and we are far from saying that it is not possible to imagine circumstances in which this High Court would interfere and reduce a sentence in revision even although the convicted person fails to exercise his right of appeal and does not himself move the Court in revision, and the application is made by a third party. We can conceive circumstances in which there might be insuperable difficulties in the way of the convicted person agitating his grievances in the manner provided by law. No such circumstances exist in this case. All the convicted persons are educated and it is not denied, but on the contrary emphasized, that the ring leaders who have received the heaviest sentences are men of position and that many of them hold University degrees and are practising lawyers. In our opinion in this case we cannot entertain an application for reduction of sentence at the instance of a third party, the convicted persons not having seen fit to appeal. This being so we discharge the Rule.