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Surendra Prasad Lahiri Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1911)ILR38Cal227
AppellantSurendra Prasad Lahiri
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
sedition - liability of declared printer and publisher of a newspaper for seditious matter appearing therein--absence during the period of the publication of the seditious articles--bona fides not made out--printing presses and newspapers act (xxv of 1887) section 7. - .....thirteen days after. the prisoner came back to rangpur on the 29th november, 1909, and the sipahir katha appeared only three days before. it appeals that he did not take any interest in the paper, and was occupied in his own business as a photographer and general dealer. but he allowed his name to remain on the record as the printer, and we think he has not made out the bond fides of his absence from rangpur. he is, therefore, legally guilty under section 124a, and we confirm the conviction. in consideration, however, of his expressed intention to sever his connection with the paper we reduce his sentence to what he has already suffered. we think the conviction and sentence under section 153a ought to be set aside. this disposes of both the appeals and the prisoner will be released at.....
Judgment:

D. Chatterjee and Richardson, JJ.

1. The prisoner was the declared printer of the 'Rangpur Bartabaha,' and he has been convicted of offences under Sections 124A and 158A of the Indian Penal Code in respect of the same articles Pratikar, Bijoya and Sipahir Katha, in respect of which the editor, Joy Chandra Sarkar, has been convicted. We have held in the appeal of Joy Chandra (1), that the article Bijoya is harmless, or at all evens not seditious, but that the articles Pratikar and Sipahir Katha are seditious in the sense of containing wholesale denunciations of the administration of Justice in India. The prisoner being the declared printer would be responsible for the said articles unless he can make out, on sufficient evidence, that he had in fact nothing to do with them. The Pratikar appeared on the 10th of September, 1909, and the Sipahir Katha on the 26th of November, 1909. The learned Magistrate finds on the evidence that he was absent from Rangpur on these days, and it is argued that the knowledge of these articles must, therefore, be brought home to him before he can be convicted. It appears, however, that Joy Chandra Vent to jail on the 22nd December, 1907, and the prisoner gave his declaration on the 16th June, 1908. Joy Chandra came out of jail on the 22nd December, 1908, and evidently resumed his work. The prisoner left Rangpur on the 28th August, 1909, and the Pratikar appeared thirteen days after. The prisoner came back to Rangpur on the 29th November, 1909, and the Sipahir Katha appeared only three days before. It appeals that he did not take any interest in the paper, and was occupied in his own business as a photographer and general dealer. But he allowed his name to remain on the record as the printer, and we think he has not made out the bond fides of his absence from Rangpur. He is, therefore, legally guilty under Section 124A, and we confirm the conviction. In consideration, however, of his expressed intention to sever his connection with the paper we reduce his sentence to what he has already suffered. We think the conviction and sentence under Section 153A ought to be set aside. This disposes of both the appeals and the prisoner will be released at once.


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