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Kshitish Chandra Roy Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Decided On
Reported inAIR1932Cal547
AppellantKshitish Chandra Roy
Cases ReferredEmpress v. Tilak
- .....those carrying on he executive government of the country ' the government established by law in british india' within the meaning of the section. the meaning of these of these words which occur in the indian press act (1 of 1910) was considered by a special bench of the madras high court in beasent v. emperor [1916] 39 mad. 1085where the court declined to accept the contention that what is meant by them in the supremacy of the crown and the british connexion as opposed to independence and held that government includes not the government of india but also the local government. this case was followed by a full bench of the allah- high court in the matter of the petition of sunderlal a.i.r. 1919 all. 91 in which it was held that the phrase 'government established by law in british india'.....

Panckridge, J.

1. In this case the appellant has been convicted of an offence punishable under Section 124-A, I. P. C., and . sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for nine months together with a fine of Rs. 250 or three further months rigorous imprisonment in default of payment respect of an article published on 12th August 1931. in a called ' Desher Banee ' of which he 18 the Editor, Printer and Publisher learned Counsel appearing for the appellant admits that if under the section it is an offence to bring into hatred or content or to excite or attempt to excite Section towards those responsible for the executive government of India generally or of this Province in particular his client is guilty of that offence, but he maintains that those carrying on he executive government of the country ' the Government established by law in British India' within the meaning of the section. The meaning of these of these words which occur in the Indian Press Act (1 of 1910) was considered by a special Bench of the Madras High Court in Beasent v. Emperor [1916] 39 Mad. 1085where the Court declined to accept the contention that what is meant by them in the Supremacy of the crown and the British connexion as opposed to independence and held that Government includes not the Government of India but also the Local Government. This case was followed by a Full Bench of the Allah- High Court In the matter of the Petition of Sunderlal A.I.R. 1919 All. 91 in which it was held that the phrase 'Government established by law in British India' means the established authority which governs the Country and administers its public affairs and includes the representatives to whom the task of government is entrusted.

2. In spite of these authorities Mr. Chattterjee has urged that there is one aspect of the matter that has not yet been, put before a Court. He argues that 'the Government as established by law in British India' means something different from 'the Government' simplicities. By Section 17 of the Code it is enacted that the word 'government' denotes the per sons authorized by law to administer executive government in any part of British India. He says that if the term are to be taken as synonymous, not only are the words ' as established by law in British India ' surplusage but the rights of the subject conferred by Expls. 2 and 3 are illusory as it is not possible to criticize the Government within the limits held to be permissible by Strachey, J., in Queen-Empress v. Tilak [1898] 22 Bom. 112 without exciting hatred, contempt or disaffection towards it. He therefore maintains that the hatred, contempt and disaffection of which this section speaks must be hatred, contempt and disaffection towards something other than the Government as defined by Section 17. When asked what that something is ha was at first inclined to say that it was the sovereignty of His Majesty established by the legislation of 1858; when it was pointed out to him that the Government of India and the Local Governments were as much the creation of Parliamentary legislation as the sovereignty of the King-Emperor he modified his position and that it meant, the constitutional structure. He contends therefore that statements however violent concerning the executive acts of the Central or Local Governments are permissible so long as they do not tend to bring hatred or contempt upon the actual framework of the constitution.

3. We cannot assent to this proposition; it appears to us that the Government established by law in British India includes the executive power in action and does not mean merely the constitutional framework. It includes the Local Government as well as the Central Government and we see no reason to disagree with the cases in which this has already been held.

4. I will now deal with the article in question. It was written on the occasion of the execution of Ram Krishna Biswas for the murder of Inspector , Tarini Mukherjee. It is entitled 'An other victim sacrificed on the altar of law.' It appears to us that the language used in para. 1 is offensive even if the construction of the section urged upon us by Mr. Chatterjee is adopted. The writer there deals with the revolutionary movement that was started 25 years ago. He states:

The Bengali youth knew that in order to harass and destroy the force by virtue of which the country was vanquished, down trodden and oppressed by an alien race, it was necessary to create a force of a like nature.

5. He goes on to state:

It is different with the sadhus and mahatmas but for men of flesh and blood, it is an intolerable disgrace to live in a country under foreign rule. Of the Bengali youths, who, with this painful sense burning in their bosoms took the path to the attainment of freedom in large numbers. Ram Krishna Biswas was one.

6. The writer then deals with the personification of the established law and states:

It must be admitted that the law of the Englishman has achieved a triumph, his undisputed claim to govern India, stands unimpaired, by hanging Ramkrishna, who was then in fever and hid a temperature of 104 under cover of darkness at dead of night

and the writer puts these words into the mouth of the law-maker:

I am the ruler. Law is my weapon; law is my strength. To uphold the dignity of law, the piteous appeals of the people of the country, the tearful entreaties of the helpless parents, must till be rejected for it is King's law and is far above all these things. Ram Krishna and Dinesh were but most insignificant beings before the machine of law. How dace you oppose the law Hundreds of Ram Krishna and Dinesh may be immolated under the bloodstained wheels of the law machine. Still the maker of the law will cry out with joy; 'Victory to my law. Victory to my claim to rule'.

7. These words clearly appear to us to express the view that the law has been employed as a weapon of tyranny and those responsible for its administration view with pleasure executions carried out in pursuance of the law. The article goes in a similar strain:

However great the cries of lamentation raised in every cottage, in every bosom of the ruled, the ruler must wage the banner of law from his palace and from the turret of his palace would be pounded victory to the blood-stained wheels of law.

8. It has been pointed out to us that the concluding paragraph of the article is not offensive inasmuch as it merely asks Government, not to meet violence with violence but to adopt a more liberal policy. But in our opinion, the effect of the concluding paragraph is not enough to neutralize the undoubtedly objectionable sentiments expressed elsewhere in the article. In our opinion, the language of the article clearly constitutes an offence under Section 124 A and we are unable, in the circumstances of the case, If to say that the sentence is too severe, The appeal is dismissed.

9. The appellant, if on bail, must surrender to his bail and serve out the remainder of the sentence,

M.C. Ghose, J.

10. I agree.

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