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Nepal Chandra Bhattacharya Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939Cal306
AppellantNepal Chandra Bhattacharya
RespondentEmperor
Cases ReferredManiban Liladhar v. Em
Excerpt:
- .....153-a, penal code, it must be shown that capitalists are a class of his majesty's subjects. if the word 'capitalists' is susceptible of accurate definition at all, that definition must be with references to a world system of economics. we are in agreement with beaumont c.j., when he said in maniban liladhar v. em peror (1933) 20 a.i.r. bom. 65 that:capitalist is altogether too vague a phrase to denote a definite and ascertainable class so as to come within section 153-a.3. literally, the common factor in such a case is accumulated wealth. economically, the common factors are, possibly, wealth plus investment. practically, it is impossible to define the limits of any such classification, or to say how any speech would affect any given proportion of its components. in the result this rule.....
Judgment:

Bartley, J.

1. This rule was issued on the District Magistrate of the 24-Pargan-nas to show cause why the conviction of the petitioner under Section 153-A, I.P.C., should not be set aside. Petitioner was convicted in respect of a speech made by him on 9th November 1937. The charge ultimately framed against him was in effect that he promoted enmity between employers and employees, who are two different classes of His Majesty's subjects. His speech, fairly construed, is an attack on the capitalist. The gist of it is this:

The capitalist is the blood taker, or blood sucker; labour is the blood river. The world has two creeds only, capital and labour. Labour creates : capital takes the lion's share of the product. Their relation is that of man and tiger; the one with the advantage destroys the other. Every per-son in the world has a right to share in its good things. That is the crux of the matter, and there can be no peace until this principle is fought for and established.

2. It is clear from this analysis that the speech cannot fairly be said to be an attempt to promote hatred or enmity. The language is not immoderate. The references to force are couched in homely vernacular idiom, the underlying idea clearly being that you get nothing in this world without fighting for it. We are not therefore prepared to hold that on the evidence an attempt to promote hatred or enmity has been made out. In the next place, in order to support a conviction under Section 153-A, Penal Code, it must be shown that capitalists are a class of His Majesty's subjects. If the word 'capitalists' is susceptible of accurate definition at all, that definition must be with references to a world system of economics. We are in agreement with Beaumont C.J., when he said in Maniban Liladhar v. Em peror (1933) 20 A.I.R. Bom. 65 that:

Capitalist is altogether too vague a phrase to denote a definite and ascertainable class so as to come within Section 153-A.

3. Literally, the common factor in such a case is accumulated wealth. Economically, the common factors are, possibly, wealth plus investment. Practically, it is impossible to define the limits of any such classification, or to say how any speech would affect any given proportion of its components. In the result this rule must be made absolute. The conviction of the petitioner and the sentence passed on him are set aside. He will be released from jail.

Henderson, J.

4. I have had the advantage of reading the judgment which has just been delivered by my learned brother, and have little to add. There is no real difficulty in assessing the effect of the speech delivered by the petitioner. It is an attack upon the capitalist system. A complaint is made that under that system there is bound to be an unfair distribution of the products of labour. The audience of the speaker were then told that their only hope is to unite, if they deaire to improve their condition. This appears to me a fair and natural interpretation of the words actually used. This is the explanation given by the petitioner himself in his examination under Section 342, Criminal P.C., and I believe him. In the circumstances, it seems to me impossible to bring this speech within the terms of Section 153.A, I.P.C. It is very easy to use the word 'capitalist' in making speeches; but before such a speech can be made the basis of a prosecution under this Section, it is necessary to attach some clear and definite meaning to the term. The difficulty in doing so has been clearly expressed by the learned Chief Justice of Bombay, and I respectfully agree with what he said. But the difficulty does not end there; even if we are able to hold that in using the word 'capitalist' the petitioner has described a class, he has referred to world wide economic conditions, and the class in question could not possibly be a class of His Majesty's subjects. I accordingly agree that this rule must be made absolute.


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