“HINDVASI” SEDITION CASE
Full Text of the Judgment.
REVIEW OF THE FACTS OF THE CASE.
In the Court of the First Class Magistrate, Hyderabad.
CROWN VERSUS JETHMAL PARSRAM GULRAJNI.
Section I24 A and I53A Indian Penal Code
“HINDVASI” SEDITION CASE.
Full Text of the Judgment.
REVIEW OF THE FACTS OF THE CASE .
In the Court of the First Class Magistrate, Hyderabad.
CROWN VERSUS JETHMAL PARSRAM GULRAJNI.
Section I24 A and I53A Indian Penal Code
The accused is charged with bringing or attempting to bring into hatred or contempt, or with exciting or attempting to excite disaffection to wards the Government established by law in Birth India, in respect of an article headed “Martyrdom in Delhi” which he printed and published in the Hindvasi dated, April 5.1919 and further in respect of the same article he is charged with promoting or attempting to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between European and Indian subjects of His Majesty. The sanction accorded by the government of Bombay for the filing of a complaint under section I24A and section I53A or either of these sections is recorded with the papers of the case (exhibit E). The learned counsel for the deface has contended that the accused should stand charged only for the attempts with this interpretation of the charge I have no disagreement bearing in mind that the sections prohibit alike the act and the attempt and that whether or not the attempt was successful is immaterial in any case where the intention is proved. It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the definition of the offences charged. That has already been done at great length in the course of the arguments of counsel. It was contended in defense that the article does not amount even to comments expressing “disapprobation” within the meaning of the explanations attached to section I24 A .this is a question of fact, as is also the question whether the article as the prosecution allege constitutes a deliberate attack on Government or merely, as the defense allege, impugns the action of certain officials at Delhi on the 30th March last. As regards section I53A likewise it is purely a question of fact whether the writing is protected by the explanation that is to say whether the accused dwelt on the differential treatment which he alleges is accorded to Europeans as a part from Indians in India without any malicious intention or whether he has done so in order to emphasis distinctions, aggravate feelings and areole passions. The two offences are perfectly at great length in the course of the arguments of counsel. It was contended in defence that the article does not amount even to comments expressing disapprobation within the meaning of the explanations attached to section I24A. This is a question of fact as is also the question whether the article as the prosecution allege constitutes a deliberate attack on Government or merely, as the defence allude impugns the action of certain officials at Delhi on the 30th March last. As regards section I53A likewise it is purely a question of fact whether the writing is protected by the explanation, that is to say whether the accused dwelt on the differential treatment which he alleges is accorded to Europeans as apart from Indians in India without any malicious intention or whether he has done so in order to emphasize distinctions, aggravate feelings and arouse passions. The two offences are perfectly distinct. It has been held in law that a man can commit both of them in the course of the same article and be separately charged convinced and punished for each. It is a question of fact whether accused has committed both offences in the article headed “Martyrdon in Delhi” As will be apparent later on there are certain passages in this article to which section I53A applies with greater force than section I24A . though many passages undoubted fall under both sections of the law.
2. It is important in this case to have a clear summary of the chronological order of the main events which have been referred to in the evidence or the arguments as matter of common knowledge. These are as follows:-
February 6th, 1919. Rowlett legislation introduced before council and start of satyagrah movement by Mr. Gandhi.
February 11th, 1919. Accused published exhibit 08 February 13th.1919.Accused published exhibit 09. March 8th 1919. Rowlett legislation before Council, with certain amendments in the text. Accused published Exhibit 010.
March 18th 1919.Rowlatt legislation passed.
March 25th, 1919 Mr.Gandhi proposes a day of humiliation and prayer to be observed on the second Sunday after the passing of the Rowlatt legislation (i.e. March 30th 1919).
March 29th 1919.Accused publishes Exhibit 011.
March 30th 1919. Day of humiliation and prayer observed in many places in India market by closing of shops and stoppage of business. Slight disturbance in Hyderabad, caused chiefly by small boy’s throwing stones. Riots in Delhi followed in the evening by protest meeting presided over by Swami Shradhanand.
March 30th 1919 till about April 11th1919 Hartal in Delhi.
April 05th 1919.Accused publishes “Martyrdom in Delhi”.
April 09th, 1919.(About) so called “arrest” of Mr. Gandhi.
April 10th, 11th, 12th, 1919. Riots in the Punjab, Ahmedabad and Viramgam following on the new of the arrest.
April 18th 1919. Accused publishes exhibit.
Now one thing is apparent from the above news that although nobody threw clods and brickbats on the second occasion yet the brave men had the people killed by their order. This is the accused version of the official account. Then again there is the statement. “The firing took place for the third time near the Benal Bank which conclusively proves that the took firing to be a pastime.” This is again taken from a more or less official account, to which the writer has added repugnant comment of his own. Now what are the sources of his information? They are by the admission of the defence the times of India (Exhibit W) of April 2nd and the daily Gazette (Exhibit W) of April 1st.
Accused’s account differs from these sources in the following way:
(I) He omts the great provocation given by the mob trying to force its way into the station by breaking open the gats.
(2) He deliberately puts in “some people laughed.” The source of which is exhibit A, where the correspondent of the Bombay Chronicle in the issue of April 2nd ,states that “jeers” were “answered with machine gun fire”.
(3)He refers to Indians as animals and beasts.
(4)He infers, because there is no mention of stone throwing at the clock tower in exhibits V and W, that there was no stone throwing there. He draws this inference in order to make the statement that despite the absence of stone throwing still the brave soldiers shot down the crowd. When this conclusion is taken with the following sentence, “This means that whether the people had thrown stones or not even then they would have died as a matter of certainty,” it is plain that the impression which the writer wishes to convey to his readers is that the firing in the click tower was wanton, reckless and unwarranted. The good faith of the writer can be easily judged by remembering that even from the materials at his disposal is perfectly clear that the firing was ordered because the mob was obstinate, was ordered to disperse and refused to do so. The only answer that the defiance can make to this charge of deliberately garbling the information with intent to cause the readers of the Hindvasi to feel hatred and contempt for a government which permits such enormities is the feeble one that in Exhibit Q I the Hindvasi had the day previously, April 4th, published a replica of exhibit W. If it easily assumed that the reader bears in his head while reading the issue of the 5th all the details of the previous issue at a time when the writer adds fresh material and tells his readers that he has now got the facts from both size and i in a position to express an opinion them the sincerity of such a plea is manifest. Let me examine now another of regard to the first occasion another telegram states that mounted sowars forced the people into a garden and shot them up and even flogged (or whipped)them. People tried to get out and some of them threw stones for this reason, where upon the play of the guns began. Again Here at Delhi although one side had no rifle or stick or axe still the fire of machine guns was poured on them” Dewan Lilaramsing has mistranslated machin Bundook as “volleys of musket fire.” The correct translation has been given by Mr.Nabi Bux. Now in these statements the writer makes two assertions of fact:-
The first is that the people were driven in to a garden by mounted showers, were shut up in it flogged by them, and because they laughed and threw stones they were fired upon.
The second is that machine guns poured fire upon an unarmed mob.
These statements are made out from carefully selected extracts that have been taken from exhibit X, the New Times of April 1st, Exhibit Z, a statement of a correspondent of the Bombay Chronicle in its issue dated 1st April, and exhibit Y1, and theIndependent dated April 2nd. Now the Bombay Chronicle nowhere suggests that the people were confined in the Queen’s Gardens and flogged. Nor does it state baldly that a machine-gun was fired. The Bombay Chronicle of April 3rd (exhibit 110) quoting a correspondent gives a statement made by Swami Shradhanand to the press. In the course of that there appears the statement “I left immediately for the Railway Station. There I heard that the machine-gun had fired indiscriminately and abut a dozen had either been killed or wounded.” Then again there is the passage “I explained all the facts and said Intelligence has come that a machine-gun again discharged a volley near the clocked (sic) tower. The chief Commissioner said in reply that no machin-gun was fired near the clock tower. From these pass aged it is clear that there was no question of there being more than one machine-gun and also that Swami Shradhanand, who issued this announcement to the press had no personal knowledge of the firing of the machine gun at all. Furthermore the Chief Commissioner had told the Swami that no machine-gun had fired near the clock tower. Now let me examine the use that the accused has made of these sources of information. He suppresses all mention of the Chief Commissioner’s denial. He does not state that the Swami had no personal knowledge of the firing alleged. All that he has been able to say in defense is that he inferred from the use of the word “again” in Intelligence has come that a machine-gun again discharged a volley near the clocked (sic) tower,” that the machine had been fired once before. And this is in spite of the fact that theIndependent of April 2nd has in thick block type at the top of its page (exhibit Y) “machine-gun Not for being unduly on the side of those “who do not throw the blame on the officers.” it was out of these materials that the accused has woven the fabric, “Here at Delhi although one side had no rifles or sword or stick or an axe, stil the rib of machine-gun was poured on them.” Now as regards the statement of what happened in the garden. The Bombay Chronicle from which the accused has drawn part of his information stated that when the crowd went to the station and demanded the release of the two men arrested for attempting to close by force the shops at the platform “an afiray took place.” Thus even the Bombay Chronicle throw upon the crowd at least some of the responsibility of what followed. This the accused omits entirely in the version he gives. Again the New Times (exhibit X) says “An affray took place, meantime the police and the military with the machine-gun were sent for and the people were driven into the Queen’s Garden by the mounted police. On continued Provo canon the people attempted to come out of the gardens and missiles of brickbats were thrown by some upon which the military opened fire, killing and wounding some including a boy.” This plainly refers as the evidence of the Delhi witnesses in court makes abundantly clear, to what happened after the people had left the station. Now there is a passage from the Independent exhibit Yr which runs thus:-
“The stationmaster’s behaviour was rude and provoking from the beginning. He and the soldiers from the canteen on the station ignored expostulation and belaboured the citizens with canes, finally detaining them forcibly. The people who assembled to request for the release were totally unarmed. Few approached the station authorities but were kicked and caned which excited their comrades outside, some of whom beat the assailants back. “This reference to an entirely different incident, namely the events at the station before the crowd had been driven out of it. The real facts of the caning are to be gleaned from the evidence of Desai (exhibit 14) who admits that 40 or 50 people had entired the Station Superintendent’s room to demand the release of the arrested men and Desai was able to see through the glass doors “ a can being whirled at the crowd, falling on the backs of the crowd.” The real facts were of course not known to the accused. But what dose he die with the materials he ha
Events at the station with the events in the garden and asserts that police drove the people, who were unarmed, into the garden, shut them up there so that they could not disperse, flogged them and when they tried to disperse and could not, because they were shut up in the garden, the magistrate ordered them to be fired upon for doing something which they could not do.” “How asks accused. “can the confined people disperse?” Again the conclusion to be drawn from this writing and the next statement that the firing at the Bank of Bengal proved that the authorities “took firing to be a pastime,” can only e that the people in the Queen’s Garden were wantonly shot down without a shred of excuse. A sufficient amount of the materials at the writers’ disposal has been cited to show that a bona-fide journalist could not possibly have drawn from the conduct of the crowd the inference as to its complete innocence which the accused assumes.
To sum up on this point, what are we to think of the good faith of a writer catering for a consider able body of sindhi readers, who, having at his hand the materials from which he could have compiled a true and faithful account of the events at Delhi, deliberately set out to garble those materials so as to put the action of the authorities in the worst possible light? It has been proved that he deliberately omitted from more of less responsible accounts of the occurrences, certain statements which tended to show that the authorities had acted under great provocation, that he cut and clipped the Associated Press telegrams as he liked and inserted into the midst of a responsible account statements from the most hysterical announcements in the Bombay Chronicle and theIndependent. What was his intention in so doing? There can be no doubt that it was to hold up to hatred and contempt the authorities responsible for maintaining law or order, and, by his references to Indian “beasts” and “animals” and his gross exaggerations of differential treatment, as he thinks, accorded to Europeans and Indians to promote in the minds of his Indian readers enmity against the Europeans and others of their race who perpetrated these enormities. It must be clear to every unprejudiced mind. Allowing every possible concession to the discretion of an editor in selecting his materials for publication, that accused’s use of his materials is absolutely beyond the utmost limit of concession. The conclusion in that the accused’s selection of news materials was directed with the sole object of maligning those whose duty it was to preserve, in trying circumstances. Law and order in Delhi and through them, as government offers the whole system of government as establishment by law in Birtish India. This utilization of materials connote be explained away by a casual carelessness or the desire to effect rhetorical exaggerations. The defence has not denied that accuser’s sources of information were the newspapers before the court. It is no palliative whatever of accused’s conduct that might have written other articles as bad as or worse than, “Martyrdom in Dehli.” He is liable for what he wrote, not for what he might have written.
Evidence has been led to prove that from the tone of certain previous articles in the Hidvasi that the criminal intention of the writer can be safely inferred in respect of this case. With this end in view the prosecution has placed on record thirteen articles which have appeared from time to tome in Hindvase. Of these the most noteworthy are 06.08,010,011,012.
The Rowlett legislation was passed on March 18th. On the 25th or thereby Mr.Gandhi started the more violent form of Satyagraha agitation. The accused as Satyagraha supported the movement throughout and in a series of immoderate articles he has placed before his readers the peculiar virtues of the Satyagraha doctrine. These articles exhibited as 08.9,10,11,12, and 13 were published in the issue of the Hindvasi dated February 11 and 13, March 8, 26 and 29, and April 13. It will be sufficient to indicate the salient features of each.
08 states that “years period in the Rowlett act is bait” to catch Indians with. Government has broken so many promises that it is hard to believe any.
010 contains a quotation from the Gita “Get up a no fight on the battle field” and goes to recite the example of Krishna. To follow Satyragrah is the way of love, not of the world or saints.
It is nothing that 33 crores of people are dying and passing their lives “in the condition or beast?” we were called revolutionaries and the bills are passed against us when we try to emerge from our conditions.
011asks what is downtrodde India to do? The black bills have wound themselves round her throat. Then are given various fanciful and malicious accounts of the reasons why the Rowlett legislation was passed. The writer in these quotes from various sources; but it is impossible to tell where the quotation ends and the editorial comments begin. The article is in erfect an attempt to subvert the loyalty to the Indian army, the Muhammadan population and Indians generally by circulate and the approval of the most grotesque and malignant lies. In the same issue of the paper is an article in which the writer letters to the Government of India by the British as being “Gharji” a household affair of their own, and he adds that no one should believe that Indian is going to get reforms.
012 is a call to prayer, a forward of instruction for the day of humiliation fixed by Mr.Gandhi. Can we tolerate further, asks the writer, such things as the passing of the Rowlatt legislation in the face of the opposition of all the non-official Indian members? In England such things would not be permitted. Than there follows a veiled reference to the execution of Charles I since he was the only English people. The article then goes on to compose in florid metaphysical style the “Gain” of the East with the “Wigian” of the West and contains the exhortations that nations cannot be improved without sacrifice.
Now these articles show fairly well the drift of the accused’s mind. They make it clear that the article of the 5th April is only the culminating point of a long series. In particular the violence of the language in exhibits 010, 012, is to be noted. When he writes these three articles, the writer seems to have been in a mental state bordering on the acutest depression. He despairs of everything, nothing is right, in the course of these articles on Satyagrah movement he has worked himself up into such a feeling of frenzy that the article of the 5th comes as no surprise whatever. It is as if he were waiting impatiently for the opportunity to let himself really go. He got that opportunity when the unruly mobs at Delhi refused to disperse until they were fired upon.
But interesting as any as showing the trend of the writer’s mind and proving that he was fully conscious of the probable effect of his writings, is exhibit 06, which reproduces in an imperfect and inaccurate way, eked out with editorial comments, an article which appeared in the Times of London about the beginning of the year. That article advocated the mobilization of the world’s agricultural resources in order o provide against the deficiency of food in Europe. It was one of the points urged by the writer that the area grown with cotton in India should be diminished and the area under food crops increased. The writer was certainly injudicious in his phrasing and his sentiments and the accused’s resentment was roused to such a pitch that he actually made the unguarded statement that he forbore going into detailed exposition of the hunger of India for food as there was likelihood, if he did so, that “the pen could be accused of appearing seditious.” The conclusion of this long argument is therefore that the intention of the writer is therefore that the intention of the writer is clearly proved.
(a) From the meanings of the words used by him in the article of April 5th.
(b) From the use to which he put his sources of information.
(c) From previous articles written by him, which show his state of mind and lead to an easy inference in respect of the article of the 5th.
5. The next question is what interpretation is to be put upon the article. Now in the course of the evidence and particularly in the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses who have translated the article the defence have sought to show that the literal meaning is not the one which the words would bear ordinarily. To take the literal meaning first. The article is headed “Martyrdom in Delhi”. It opens with a quotation taken from the poet Shah Abdul Latif. Now this quotation has been translated by Mr. Nabe Bux as “At the shop of the publican killing is rampant.” Dewan Lilaramsingh has rendered it “at the shop of wine-seller there is terror of massacre.” Mr. Kalich Beg translates, “There is a regular slaughter at the shop of the wine seller.” Mr. Bulchand alone introduces the word “self” into his rendering and gives the translation as “At the shop of the wine-seller runs the stream of self-slaughter.” The article then proceeds to describe in very violent language what happened at Delhi. It pictures unarmed mobs being shot down with rifles and machine-gun. It praises in glowing terms those who fell in the firing and holds them up as an example of bravery and heroism to the whole of India which will rejoice in the velour of her sons. “ Bravo Delhi, Bravo!” says the writer, “ True, the souls of the immortal brave ones are instilling the breadth of wondrous daring into the yeins of the Indians on your holy soil, so much so that they look with erect necks in the face of thousand guns. They never look behind; they walk straight forward. This massacre (or bloodshed) of Delhi has instilled hope in the whole of India.” It seems perfectly plain that the literal meaning is exactly what the words say. The people who were shot at Delhi were martyrs, who were sacrificed, or who sacrificed finalizing, and have made for them salves an immortal name by their courage, which every true Indian ought to Endeavour to cumulate. It is transparent throughout that the emphasis “which the writer wishes to lay is laid not upon the willingness of the sacrifice, but upon the ruthlessness which condemned the sufferer to martyrdom. Any ordinary man reading the quotation at the top after seeing “martyrdom” in the heading and knowing that the reference is to the people who were shot in the Queen’s Garden at Delhi, would at once conclude that the writer means as his words say actual killing and actual slaughter, it is needless to elaborate this point now as the totality of any other interpretation but this literal one will become very apparent later on. The word kuhan, round which so much controversy has raged, is very simple. It is in meaning not in grammatical from the passive voice of kuhan, “to slay” it means “to be slaughtered” or “slain,” nothing more and nothing less. Any idea of willingness is totally foreign to the meaning of the word and if there be any such implied meaning in the passage where the word is used in the article, which meaning comes from context and not from the word kusan. The literal interpretation of the article is therefore that it is a piece of strong advice to the public to emulate the example of the Delhi “martyrs.”
Let me now consider the spiritual interpretation which the defence insists is the true one. The meaning throughout is spiritual. The keynote ot it is the quotation from shah Latif which, the defence have asseverated with wearying persistence, con not possibly be employee to incite towards assassination. There is the opening quotation; there is in the body ot the article another quotation from Shah Abdul Latif showing the same sufi doctrine, that it is by the suppressions the passions that happiness is achieved there is the final paragraph which breatls the true spirit of Satyagrah, that one show do no violence, touch no one’s property or person and love even one’s opponents. Ferule the insistence on the martyrdom is not meant to bring down wrath against the who made that martyrdom inevitable rattan it is the old and true oriental method of giving the end sought by offering oneself a willing sacrifice and so shortening the hearts those from whom redress in sought. Now this is an extremely clever explanation of certain passages in the article and it is necessary to examine what is the value of the defense place Evidence has been led at great length to show that the “wine-shop” referred to in the quotation, and metaphorically applied throughout the article is not the forbidden wine, but the sacred wine of sacrifice that is accepted of God. Evidence has been led to show too how in the Sufi poets other metaphors, besides this one of the wine, are employed to convey the idea of the willingness with which the lover sacrifices himself for the loved one. It is contended that there is in this no idea what ever of malice of malice of hatred for the one on whose behalf the sacrifice is made. So it is inferred that the emphasis on the idea of martyrdom in the article means no more than this, that it was out of sheer love of sacrificing themselves without wishing to bring the authorities into hatred or contempt that the people in Delhi gave themselves to be killed and wounded. They wished by their devotion merely to show the strength of their conviction that by their suffering they could impress the authorities to grant them redress, that is induce the repeal of the Rowlett legislation.
6. Now there are certain very obvious criticisms of this way of understanding the article. The first is that it is not natural. The mere length of the cross-examination which the defence considered necessary to bring out all the finer shades and nuances of meaning is really a condemnation of its reality. To quote once more from the judgment in the Kali Nath Roy case: “It is unfortunate, to say the least of it, that so much and such elaborate explanations of words, of which the ostensible marring is plain, should be required” Even on the defence’s own showing the spiritual meaning is to be got only by taking the article piecemeal and finding parallels for isolated passages from the verses, of the Sufi poets.
Seconrity the spiritual meaning would not be understood by the ordinary reader of the Hindvasi on perusal of the article. It implies for its establishment a scientific knowledge of Shah Abdul Latif. It has been asserted that this poet is well known in Sind and that many of his verses have become proverbial in the Sindhi language. On the other hand it is stated that very few of the educated understand the spiritual and metaphysical teaching that lies behind the poet’s words. To say that a poet has passed into a proverbial usage is not to say that the exoteric massage or his teachings is known to masses. Mr.Kalich Beg has stated of Shah Latif “that it is difficult to understand the spiritual meaning of his poetry. It is difficult on account of his mysticism. The language is also difficult as it uses archaic and obsolete words.” Now in the case of popular poets the quotation becomes mere text to be employed in a hundred different ways. It is impossible to expect the average reader in this case to-remember the particular context in which this quotation is found, recall the spiritual significance of it and then in the light of it re-interpret the newspaper article. To be able to do so implies a scientific knowledge or the literature of the Sufi poets such as it is sare to say hardly any reader of Hindvasipossesses.
The third great objection to this spiritual interpretation of the article is it is entirely foreign the purpose and the meaning of the writing it contain. The defence alleges that Shah Abdul Latif can never under any circumstances be an apostle of slighter or massacre. Now if this is so, why has the writer put at the head of the article describing in the most violent of language the unwarranted shooting of the Delhi crowds, or quotation which parse can have no application whatever or such a subject? It is quite inconsistent. The emphasis throughout is up on the killing, not upon the sacrifice and it is very significant that the quotation contains the very word in Sindhi for “being slain” namely kusan. The learned counsel for the defence asked so many questions on the meaning of this and kindred words that the prosecution witnesses were at times considerably bewildered. It is plain that where words expressive of killing occurred in the article. They mean them selves nothing more and nothing less than actual physical killing.
No one can reasonably doubt that the massacre or killing to which the writer refers means only the casualties caused by the firing on the Delhi mob. The meaning that they were willing martyrs offering themselves freely out of love and bearing no malice to those who shot them down is a pleasant mental fiction but it has no reality in the actual words employed by the writer.
The fourth criticism on the spiritual interpretation is that the quotation cannot be regarded as the keynote of the article. If the quotation were not there the appeal of the article to the mind of substantially different from what it is with the quotation at the top. In this particular case it is clear that the writer did not start with a quotation and then proceeded to write a sermon upon it. In most quotations of this mature are added as a literary flourish to sum up the article or to emphasis a salient point. This quotation dose. It emphasis’s the salient point of killing. It cannot be inferred from the quotation that the meaning which the words bear in the article are not those which they would ordinarily bear. The nature of what follows it precludes the idea that the article is a sermon on the spiritual teaching of Shah Latif. It is plain that in connection with the Delhi riots, the writer’s comments thereon, the ordinary reader would understand “killing” in its most literal sense.
The fifth objection is equally formidable. Let us assume for the sake of argument that the defiance’s spiritual interpretation is correct. Even so the defiance cannot save them. For the meaning of the article is clearly sedition us in that it emphasized the idea of sacrifice as caused by the guns fired at Delhi. It is not in human nature that a man believing as true the words of the writer should not feel hatred and contempt for the authorities who ordered such firing. Further the meaning is seditious in that it encourages the doctrines of Satyagrah. This I shall now explain.
7. The word Satyagrah and its various meanings have played a great part in this case. The word itself means literally “grasping or adhering truth.” It has however been usually understood to mean passive resistance, which is again said to be synonymous with a doctrine of non-violence. The idea is says Mr. Kalich Beg in his evidence, “That by self suffering you impress those from whom you seek redress. That is what I mean when I translate Satyagraha as passive resistance.” The last few words of the article make clear this conception. “Satyagraha implies suffering and not making to sure. If you wish that Mahatma Gandhi should triumph, we should obey this command of his in its entirety. And it is stand on truth, touch nobody’s life or property and love even your opponents.” Now this is a metaphysical doctrine which comes quite naturally from ascetics like Mr. Gandhi or Swami Shardhanand. The practicability of the doctrine for the busy world of every day life can well be questioned. But there is little doubt that the ascetics are sincere; and that we have occasionally to deal with minds which can see no inconsistency in these abstract metaphysical conceptions and the results that follow from their application to the ordinary affairs of life. The impression I have formed of Shradhanand from his appearance in court is that he is sincere but wrongheaded idealist. This I think is true of all those who emphasis the religious side of the doctrine. This side is developed with much metaphysical sophistry, of which a very good idea can b obtained from accuser’s own writings, and in particular Exhibits 010,011, and 012, where great stress is laid upon the “ wisdom of the East” as the panacea for human ills. Such is the professed meaning of Satyagraha.
Descending from the realm of metaphysical to hared facts what do we find the results of Satyagraha in practice to be? In the first place it is a political move which has for its object the repeal of Rowlett legislation. Shardhanand and K. A. Desai have stated definitely in court that this is its object and both of these witnesses can speak with authority, as the first was chairman of the big Delhi protest meeting and the second was one of the secretaries of the Delhi Satyagraha Sabha.
Now so long as Satyagraha remains a matter for spirit alone it is protected from the law’s interference. But as soon as it leaves the realm of the spirit and enters the political arena and in so doing results in definite overt acts which involve the rights of the public, and of individuals, it cannot claim to be judged except by those results. And if persons on pursuance of such doctrine continue to bring these results about then it is a question for the law to decide whether the results were intentionally promoted. The peculiarly religious phraseology is due partly to the fact that the doctrine in its present form originated with an ascetic like Mr. Ghandhi; and partly it is due to an elaborate attempt to introduce politics in the guise of religion and by so doing to enlist the support of the naturally religious Hindu mind. The latter purpose is being achieved by the use of religion imagery in referring to the political situation and by quotations from the Gita and other sacred works. Accused’s writings before the court show in places this tendency very clearly. Now the first practical result of Mr. Ghandhi’s teaching was the taking of Satyagraha vow and the establishment of Sabhas in various centers to further the cause. In Delhi about 150 persons had taken the vow at the time of rioting there. The sabha there had previously, as the evidence shows, held meetings to condemn the Rowlatt legislation and had issued pamphlets to the public explaining Mr. Gandhi’s message. “At the meeting held” says K.A .Desai in his evidence “the masses were not exhorted to close their shops, but the massage of Mahatma Gandhi was explained. The message said that shops were to be closed. Other speakers told the people that shops were to be closed as an agitation against the Rowlatt Act.”
A Bill for the establishment of a mixed conciliation tribunal to deal with disputes between capital and labor has been introduced in the Argentine national Congress.
Government supply booths, set up at distances of every quarter of a mile all over Paris, have proved most successful. Receipts for reached the total of 7, 437, 681f. l (f297, 500)
April 14th, 1919. Mr. Gandhi announces that Englishmen should be loved.
April 18th, 1919. Accused published Mr. Gandhi’s announcement that “Englishmen are our brothers” (exhibit 11).
April 25th,1 919. Accused arrested for an ftence under Section 147 I.P.C. in connection with the disturbance in Hyderabad on March 30th and released on bail by police.
May 15th, 1919. Accused arrested for out ness under section 124 A and 153A I.P.C.
3. I come new to consider what tact’s must be proved in this case. In his charge to he jury in the case of queen Empress versus Vinayak. Sir Lawrence Jenkins (reported in 2 Bombay Law reporter page 308) has stated the procedure to adopt. First there must be found out the true meaning of the article, ad the covert meaning if any, second, what is the probable and the natural effect of the words? Any they calculated to excite the feelings charged. Third, if they are so calculated, were they written and published with that intention? Similarly with regard to section 153A I must consider the true and covert meaning of the words, their probale and natural effect, whether calculated to prorate enmity between Europeans and Indians, and decide whether there has been a deliberate attempt to incite the one race against the other with these instructions before me I have gone thoroughly into all the evidence adduced and have set down my conclusion and the reasons thereof in the following way. Paragraph 4of this judgment deals with the proof of the writer’s intention. Paragraph 5 deals with the interpretation to be put upon the article Paragraph 6 criticises the spiritual interpretation of the article which the defense have put forward as the true one. Paragraph 7 discusses the meaning of Satyagraha so far as it is relevant to this case. Paragraph 8 discusses in detail the meaning of the article and passage in it. Paragraph 9 deals with the meaning and interpretation of the last 10 lines of the article and paragraph 10 defines the limit of bona-fide journalistic criticism. The accused is admittedly printer and publisher of the Hindvasi for the purposes or this case. He was so them the 21st April 96 up to the time of his arrest on May 15th 1919. His responsibility is admitted for all the articles from the Hindvasewhich have been filed as exhibits. This responsibility is proved by exhibits A B and 11and it is not denied by the accused.
4. Intention in this case is proved in three ways, (1) by the meaning on the words written. It will be shown in paragraph 8 how they are calculated to excite the feelings charged.
(2) By the use which the writer made of the sources of information on the strength of which he wrote the article “Martyrdom in Delhi.”
(3) By previous articles which have appeared from time to time in the Hindvasi. These are all pieces of evidence under section 14 of the Evidence Act proving animus of the writer. Now intention is to be judged primarily from the words written, that is, from the meaning of the article, and the main point to consider is what the meaning would be taken to be by those to whom the writing is addressed, and in this connection also it is important to consider what would be the effect of the words on a man of reasonable and ordinary intelligence. The presumption is that the words have the meaning they would ordinarily bear, unless there are circumstances which show that they have not the ordinary meaning. This is a matter which is very difficult to prove and the defence has spent a great deal of time in endeavoring to show that in his article the ordinary meaning is not applicable. I consider that they have failed to prove their point and I have given reasons for this view in paragraph 6. There is one other general principle to bear in mind and that is, that a man is ordinarily held to intend the natural consequences of his acts. This is a working maxim to be followed unless the circumstances show it to be inapplicable. There is no reason in this case why it should be considered inapplicable. There are the best possible reasons for regarding this article to mean what it would ordinarily mean and in this connection it is useful to quote from the judgment in the recent Kalinath Roy case. “When the meaning of a passage is obscure, or it admits of more than one meaning it is then legitimate to read such passage in the light of another but when there is no obscurity and the meaning or the passage is plain this method of reasoning cannot be employed. You way reconcile apparent, but you cannot reconcile real in consistencies.”
With these general remarks, I proceed to examine the use of the source of information made by the accused in writing the article. The article starts by presuming that the readers of theHindvasi are now in possession of the complete facts regarding the Delhi riots. It comments with an appearance of being fair-minded. The writer then draws the distinctions between two kinds of accounts of the Delhi happenings (1) those which do not blame the officers (2) those which do blame the officers. It is perfectly clear from the tone of the article which of these two sets of accounts the writer regards as true and wishes his readers to regard as true. Now in the course of the article the writer makes what purports to be categorical statements of fact. The prosecution contends that the statements constitute a seppressio veri and suggesti falsi. They say that the so called official account is not only deliberately garbled but that the writer has inserted in the midst of it a statement from an absolutely unofficial source. They add that the non-official account given by the writer is in affect an exaggeration of the worst of the numerous unofficial reports that appeared in various Indian news papers about the time the article was written. Now what is the evidence for this? Let me take the translation of Mr. (now Khan Bahadur) Nabi bux, which has not been challenged by the defence except in very minor matters of literal translation. We find in the article the following:-
“It is said that on the first occasion some people laughed and threw stones, where upon the District Magistrate ordered that guns should be fired.” This must be a reference to the account of the associated press. Then comes the statement, Many Indian animals died. People dispersed and assembled near the Chandni Chowk. There also the magistrate ordered them to disperse. People remained standing and the magistrate ordered the firing of the guns. Guns began to work and many Indian beasts were wounded and
The natural result followed. The movement resulted in law-breaking, us the Delhi evidence in this court conclusively show. It is perfectly clear from the statements of the defence witnesses that the hartal was not the spontaneous response of the entire peoples to Mr. Gandhi’s instance call which the defence alleges. For witness Nerainddin Exhabit 16) says: “I have not real then Mob then proceeded to take things into its own hands and two of them were arrested by the authorities. The mob next tried to rescue these two by force, refused to desist and ultimately became so threatening that extreme measures, such as are provided in the code of Criminal Procedure for such emergencies, had to be taken. In all essentials the evidence of Mr. Jeffrey’s (exhibit 2) stands completely unrequited. There can be no doubt that in Delhi, first at the station, and later at the clock tower, the authority had to deal with a large mob which were reckless of what they did and which were going to take the law in their own hands. That the fighting was not wanton is proved by two very significant incidents (1) the firing took place near the station a full two hours after the police had reached the spot and were trying to persuade them to cease rioting, which is important when the member of the mob is compared with the number of police and soldiers. (2) In the evening Swami Shradhanand was allowed to hold a huge meeting and lead a big procession close to where the firing had taken place in the after noon and he was allowed to Viceroys and his government from the general nature of the appeal that the article makes to the reader and lately from the kind of criticism passed on official action at Delhi If it were particular individuals who were reprobated. How is it that these individuals are not mentioned once by name? How is it that the enormity of their individual guilt receives no attention whatever from the writer? The only official, apart from the Viceroy, mentioned in the article is the District Magistrate and he is not referred to in any manner that suggests individual censure. It is plain that the writer did not mean to confine his strictures to the officials at Delhi if so, why should he use the following experience? “Lo! The Indians though rendered weak and powerless nevertheless they are neither afraid of our rifles nor of our naked swords and machine-guns.” “This massager of Delhi has instilled hope in the whole of India.” “Mother India must have been glad on seeing that her sons are not such as will disgrace her.” “Which is it better to die gird up one’s loins with truth and die a nebe death, fighting with the weapon of truth in the cause of liberating (the) Grano Old Mother , or to sit in the dirt of disgrace, leading selfish life, living in dread and ultimately dying of disease and?”
At Delhi the blood of the Mussalman youth… and that of other Hindus and Mussalmans there have done a wend riel knot of mutual love.” “What it a few thousands or a few lakhs laid down their lives in the cause of Satyagraha?” the general nature of these appeals cannot be doubted. The writer does not confine his interest are attention to Delhi. What happened at Delhi should be rivaled all over India, despite the fact that the authorities will be ready with their guns to shoot down the willing martyes in the cause of truth and the liberation of the Grand old Mother. That is certainly the writer’s meaning.
Coming new to particular passages, I can say with truth that there is hardly a passage that is unobjectionable from beginning to end. There are certain passages to which section 153A applies with greater force than section 124A for this reason that the latter section would apply to them only by impaction whereas the former section applies directly. Particularly objectionable is the passage were the writer says that guns were fired because people laughed; particularly objectionable are the references to “Indian” a “animals” and “beasts” and the statements about the killing of the people on the second occasion though no brickbats were thrown. Similarly with the shouting up of the crowd in the garden. The flegging or them, and the firing in them because they could not disperse and with the remark that the shot at the Bengal bank “proves” that they took firing to be a pastime. The passage beginning True, the souls of the immortal brave” is meant to convey the impression of the cowardice of those who shot them down or bad they shot down. There is the grossest place of seditious writing in the passage which refers to “60 lakhs have died of influenza. Hat if a few thousand of a few lakhs laid down there lives in Satyagraha? And the parses “sit in the dirt of disgrace “living in dread” “ultimately dying of disease and sickness,” the present life of restriction is hell in itself,” what use is this living which is mere breathing” all are meant to express the idea that life under the government established by law in India is not worth living, and that almost anything, even suicide is better. The references to the joining of Hindu and Mussalman over the blood spilt at Delhi, and the cryptic utterance that follows “everything has a purpose” have an unmistakable meaning namely that the writer looks forward to the day when the union will be complete and the two will unite to drive out the race under whose Government life is not worth living. Now for an offence under section 153A the following passages are flagrant examples of criminal writing. “Well, the Indians are not human beings like the Europeans; what does it matter if they die like flies? In England if people do not disperse, it is customary to throw hot water copiously at them through machines and them they are obhged to disperse. Those Englishmen do oppose with their pistols. Here however the poor Indians had neither stick nor rod with them. The worst that has been said is that they threw clods and brickbats.”
We do not say that the white men were at fault. It was not the while man who killed them but it was the rifles and bullets which killed them; and whoever died, died because their days were over.” “We understand that the Indians who died or were wounded were made of black day, and killing them with rifles is not such a crime; nor will their death arouse such fellow feeling in the parliament or any man.” “On a former occasion a white man had given a kick to a coolie. The coolie died. Do you think that he was sentenced to death? It was pronounced that the coolie had already enlargement of spleen and died on that account. The kick could not possibly have killed him. It means that he died whim he could die, but not be the blow. Now why did the Indians at Delhi die, what business had they to die? No blame attaches to the officers for this.” “Our brave men who are so vainglorious of their bravery, has their bravery thought them only this much that they should shoot at the helpless and unarmed. “Possibly the officials dreaded that even the stern look of the Indian people atma Munshiram’s mere leading the procession in a quiet manner frightened the soldiers.”
It is almost unnecessary to comment on these passages. They speak so well for them selves. It is clear that the writer has set out in this article deliberately to bring in to contempt the government of British India and deliberately to inflame the minds of his Indian readers against Europeans. He depicts Europeans as persons lacking in all sense of justice, mercy and impartiality and he throws the most violent as pensions on their physical courage. He has done all this by the grossest perversions of truth, and true most searching appeals to race hatred which his mind was capable of conceiving. There could be no surer way in promoting in Indian minds feelings of enmity against Europeans than the passages in which he refers to the death of the coolie suffering from enlarged spleen. The deadly innuendo in that piece of Vitter writing is, that spleen or no spleen, the European had to find a cause to kill the coolie and that it was because he was a European that he was not hanged. There could be no surer way of making Europeans despicable in Indian eyes than the writer’s discoursing with withering sarcasm on the cowardice which makes Europeans ruthlessly shoot down an unarmed crowd, and then tremble with terror when an unarmed Sanyasi marches at the head of a procession in the face of the soldiers and paralyses them with a look.
There can be no doubt of the effect of such passages on the minds of readers of the Hindvasi, who look to the paper to have their opinions formed for them; and there must be many such. In this article the accused has pilloried the British as rulers and as a race. He has held then up to derision and contempt and he cannot plead that he has done so in isolated passages. The whole article repudiates the sincerity of Government, ridicules the idea that it has any care for the welfare of its subjects. In the course of the writing the accused works himself up into a frenzy of racial hatred almost inconceivable in a man of education who might be supposed to be familiar with the significance of written words.
The explanations of the learned counsel for the defence of the most objectionable passages are almost too futile for repetition here. A few are given to show how the defence labored under the difficulty of their task. The expressions “animals” and “beasts” and “Indians dying like flies” were said to show merely the intensity of the writer’s feelings without any sinister motive. The numerous passages exciting racial hatred were explained as the writer’s method of emphasizing the distinction between Europeans and Indians. The passage en which accused blames the bullets and out those who fired them. Was explained as meaning that the soldiers had to fire, but did not like the firing and could not control the direction of the bullets after they had fired. A man who cannot offer a more convincing explanation than this is in a bad case indeed.
9. There remains the question of the last paragraph of the article. This reads as follows;” we have a word to say while closing, that we shouldn’t commit any untoward action. Satygraha implies suffering and not making to suffer. If you wish that Mahatma Gandhi should triumph, we should obey this command of his in its entirety. And it is stand on truth, touch nobody’s life or property, and love even your opponents. “More discussion has raged over this than over any other portion of the article. The defence contends that the article is summed up by the concluding paragraph. They urge that it proves accused to be a true Satyagrahi imbued with the principle of doing no violence. They hold that the paragraphs consistent with the spiritual teaching of Shah Latif. A further use made by the defence of the paragraph was that they alleged the Government of Bombay did not see it when sanction was granted to file the complaint in this case; the contention being that had Government seen it, sanction would not have been accorded.
Now there is a very simple method of judging the value of this concluding paragraph, by considering what affect the paragraph, coming at the end of the article, leaves on the mind of the reader. Is it such that it undoes the effect of the previous writing, or is it not? Would the ordinary reader, his mind in flamed by the preceding diatribes, be disposed to be influenced in the way the writer advises; or would he not be so disposed? In this connection we must remember that his consists of but 10 lines containing but 62 words out of an article occupying almost four complete columns of the newspaper. Obviously therefore, if these10 lines are to have effect, their appeal must be powerful indeed. Is that appeal likely to be effective after all the references in “killing” and “martyrdom” and the shooting of unarmed people? It is transparent that the ordinary reader cannot be expected to jump at once from the violence of the passages describing the means of martyrdom to the gentleness of the love inculcated by the final ten lines, the average reader of a news paper has his impressions formed by the cumulative effect of repetition and by the writer’s dwelling on the same thought in many varied forms of expression. It is just this very feature of journalists’ writing which permits the journalist a certain latitude and looseness of phraseology not allowable on the writings of a man of science. So in weighing the effect of this passage, I must take account of this. The one remark able thing which would strike a reflecting reader of the article is that the last paragraph is not consistent with what precedes it. In the kali Nath Roy case the dictum is laid down when a public writer in his newspaper makes two statements or gives tow pieces of advice which are inconsistent with each other, and one of which is seditious and one not so, it is the raider why is to choose, and it he believes the seditious statement and acts upon the seditious advice which are inconsistent with each other, and one of which is seditious and one not so, it is the reach who is to choose, and if the believes the seditious statement and acts upon the seditious advice the editor cannot escape responsibility by subsequently pointing to the statement or advice which is not seditious. 10 hold otherwise would make the law relating to libel or sedition a dead letter by providing the would be libeler or seditions with an open and easy escape from the consequences of his words. In the matter of sedition the part of a journalistic Janus is one which no man can reasonably claim to play.
This last paragraph can be taken in three possible ways. The first has been enunciated by Diwan Lilaramsingh who says (exhibit 7) “the writer wishes by the concluding portion of the article to cover himself up from the violent writings in the previous portion.” In other works, accused is trying to save himself. Now if he had been sincere in endeavoring to tone down his virulence he would have re-written entirely the passages he thought too strong. But he does not He leaves them and then he tries to justify himself by saying. We ought to love even our opponents. The ordinary reader would adopt one of two attitudes towards this. He would either be frankly be wildered with the inconsistency or he would apprise the halting apology at its real worth and read into the article the meaning which accused desired him to read. In short the last paragraph shows only accuser’s unwillingness to cncede any thin more than is dictated by a fear of the consequences it is plain that the intention which unity to the whole article is equally alalive the fast ten lines. The learned public Prosecutor has however urged another view. He contends that the last paragraph is a piece of blant hypocrisy primates with the spirit of botter sarcasm. After filling the minde of his readers hatred and enmity the writer in effect says:” you see those spian did fellows, how brave and just and merciful they are .you must not do them any harm. You must love them.” If this is the meaning then so far from being an attempt to palliate the violence of the article it is a deliberate aggravation. This, however seems to be rather strair ts unity to the whole article is equally alive in the last ten lines. The learned public prosecutor has however urged another view. He contends that the last paragraph is a piece of blatant hypocrisy animated with the sprit of bitter sarcasm. After filling the minds of his readers with hatred and enmity the writer in effect says “you see those splendid fellows, how brave and just and merciful they are! You must not do them any harm. You must love them. If this is the meaning then, so far from being an attempt to palliate the violence of the article it is a deliberate aggravation. This however seems to be rather straining the meaning. A third interpretation of the last paragraph is that it merely reproduces the message issued by Mr.Gandhi when he discovered that Satyagraha was resulting in mob violence, in complete contrast to the gentle doctrine of loving one’s enemies. The consistency of this advice with the previous instructions of Mr. Gandhi was of course never cleared up and the Satyagrahis continued to praise the mrtyrs who died rioting, at the same time that they condemned violence. That may be all that accused is doing in this concluding part of the article. But if he is merrily repeating, parrot like, the instructions of Mr. Gandhi he certainly cannot claim that he is acting in good faith while he leaves in the minds of hearers a state of feeling he knew well to be utterly incompatible with brotherly love. In short whatever view of the last ten lines be taken, it is certain that it cannot affect the meaning of the article as a whole. If the article were addressed solely to Satyagrah is (and the small numbers of these preclude the idea) then the writer would be exhorting them to die as the Delhi Martyrs died; if he is addressing the whole of his reading public (and this is a leading article) then he is directly inciting the public to break the law by becoming members of riot mobs bent on upsetting law and order, all in the cause of the repeal of the Rowlett legislation/
10. A considerable amount of argument has been employed in defence to show the necessity for allowing to a journalist both in the selection of his materials for publication and in his forms of expression all the latitude which his vocation demands. Many appeals have been made on behalf of the need for protecting the freedom of the press and for supporting a journalist in the bona-fide exposure of public wrong and grievances. Let me consider for a moment what constitute fair powers of journalistic criticism. It has been held that the explanations attached to section 124A I, P, C. have for their object “the protection of honest journalism and bona-fide criticism of public measures and institutions with a view to their improvement and to remedying of grievances and abuses they.” They distinguish this from attempts whether open or disguised, to make the people hate their rulers. As long as a journalist hovering this distinction they have nothing to fearing it seems to me. Continues justice stray, reported in Allah abad Law Reporter page 64) “that this view of the law secures all the liberty which any reasonable man can desire and to allow more would be culpable weakness.” The law allows a journalist to condemn public measures severely and even unreasonably, perversely unfairly. Provided the disapprobation expressed is expressed with a view to their alteration by lawful means without exciting, or attempting to excite, hatred contempt or disaffection. In this case, these principles do not apply, since it has been proved that the intentions of the writer were such as to make him criminally liable under section 124A and 153A I, P, C.
The good faith of Editor of the Hind vase has been impugned by his methods of using his sources of information and by the manner in which he places his news before the public. The first point has been dealt with in paragraph 4 of this judgment. On the second point all that need be said now is this. Accused, it is fair to infer from the evidence and arguments, relies for much of his news on the reports of other papers. These reports he cuts, alters and adopts as he chooses. Sometimes he quotes and tells his readers so. At other times he quotes and does not tell his readers so. Often he inserts his own comments in the midst of quotations. As the Sindhi language does not properly and regularly employ inverted commas, the average reader cannot possibly tell when the editor is speaking and when the auto city the editor is quoting.
As an example of the Editorial methods of Hind vasiexhibit 11, 2 will be regarded as typical. This has been put by the accused to show his loyalty to the Government in that he reproduced in his paper the speech delivered by Lord Ronald shy last April to the Marwaris of Calcutta. Now this speech came to the press of India in an authenticated version. Accused published the speech with our any authentication whatever. Ho authority no telegram is quoted as the source of the news. For all the readers of the Hind vasi know, lord Ronald shy might never have said the words in putted to him at all. The irresponsibly of such journalism need no farther comment.
11. I am now in apposition to sum up the conclusion of this judgment. It is admitted that the accused wider and published the article martyrdom hronsh. It is proved that he attempted to bring into hatred and contempt the Government established by law British, Indian proved that he which he can considerable amount versed in the meanings of words and fully cognizant of the effect of printed words upon readers.
(3) In the third place the Hindvasi was at the time the article. “Martyrdom in Delhi” was published one of the most important vernacular papers in Sind. It had a circulation of between 800 and 900 copies and It was published daily. The importance of a paper like this in a province where papers are few and their circulation confined to the towns where the largest gatherings of educated readers are is not to be gauged merely by the number of its accredited subscribers the influence of the paper extends far beyond these. The Hind vasi catered for a class of readers, the majority of whom, it is safe to say, looked to it for the formation of their opinions on events of which they had no first hand knowledge of their own. It is plain that when a paper in this position takes to a core of action, such as the evidence in this case proves theHindvasi to have followed its responsibility is great, especially as in the circumstances of isd there does not exist any corrective to the opinions which the Hindvasi placed before its readers. It is well-known that in Hyderabad where the Hindvasi is circulates most the majority of its readers belong to the communities of the Amit and the Bhaibunds, classes who also supply most of the members of the Home Rule parties in Sind. Now it is not to be forgotten that the Home Rule parties did nothing to condemn the lawlessness which broke out in India as a result of the satyagrah agitation the principles of which they may be regarded as having accepted. Now there can be no doubt of the bad effect of the writing of the accused upon a certain type of mind very common among Hindus of the rising generation in Sind. The accused in this specific instance so far from endeavoring to put the true facts before this class of his reders; deliberately used the very arguments and incitements mist calculated to inflame their minds. The responsibility of a man who does this is great even at the best of times.
(4) Much more so is it when we consider the times through which India was passing when the article was written. It was the good fortune of Sind to be spared the calamities that happened in the Punjab and in parts of the Bombay presidency. But what did the accused contribute to wards the result? Even in Sind there were signs of restiveness. Hyderabad on the day of hum elation and prayer. On that day there when elight distbans the peace caughed of this judgment. It is admitting that these cussed wrote and published the martydom in Delhi.” It is proved attempted to bring into afraid and the Government established by law in British Insia. It is proved that he attempted to promate enmity between Indian and European subject of His Majesty the King Emperor. It is proved that the accused acted in bad faith in all respects. The facts entirely outweigh anything that can be said in the accuser’s favor. The defence has been in the incomparable position of having to prove from general good conduct that the present charges cannot stand I hold that they have failed entirely to make out a convincing case. No reliable presumption. In the face of the prosecution evidence, can be drawn as to the loyalty of the accused from his inserting waroian advertisements in these paper frcfe of charge from he writ ion about recruiting from his agreeing on the 12th April to assist the Superintendent of Police if disturbances (likely to arise, be it noted, because of the ideas which accused was circulating in his newspaper) should occur in Hyderabad at the time the Punjab was in a turbine from his refraining to publish at the request of the Superintendent of police in account of an assault by a European lieutenant on an Indian. To all a these incident specnd circumstances having no bearing on the guilt of the accuse in this case apply. For instance with reference to the assault by the European lieutenant it is matter of common knowledge, that it occurred after accused had been arrested for an offence under section 147 I P C. accused was actually at the time he refrained from publishing the account of the assault, at liberty only because the police had released him in bail. With regard to his encouragement of war loans and recruiting its effects was largely modified by the editor’s comments and critisms on many occasions. The Hindvasi is wellknown to have been a most persistent and carping critic of Government action. Its motto is Home Rule is my British,” “Home Rule, complete Home Rule and nothing “but Home Rule”. This has usually been regarded by the editor to mean putting the worst interpretation on any Government action, even in some cases where government action is approved. It is unnecessary to consider further the accused’s defence, the facts on the record are too black against him for the defence he he has put up to make any material difference.
12. The accused is therefore convicted in respect of an offence under section 124A and in respect of an offence under section 153A, we have now to consider what punishment should be awarded.
(1) In the first place the accused has been proved guilty of two separate offences, for which he may be separately punished.
(2) In the second place the accused is a man of education hi is writer in Sindhi of considerable is a fluency and skill. He occupies editor of the Hindvasi a position from lasted to in time responsibility of a man who does this is great even at the best of times
(4) Much more so is it when we consider the times through which India was passing what the article was written it was the good fortune of Sind to be spared the calculates that happened in the Punjab and in parties of the Bombay presidency. But what did the accused contribute towards the result? Even in Sind there were signs of . Hyderabad on the 30th March calibrated the day of humiliation and prayer. On that day there were slight disturbances of the peace, caused chiefly by small boys throwing stones. In connection with that the accused was arrested later and released on bail. Now between the 30th March and the 12th April the political situation in India was very delicate. Duting all that time there was Herbal in Delhi and in the midst came the so- called arrest of Mr. Gandhi which precipitated the disturbances that followed. It was in the midst of that critical and trying time when men’s minds were doubtful and anion for the future that the accused wrote, printed and publi hed the article for which he stands charged and for which he has been convicted.
That is to say in a peaceful province he deliberately launched the thunderbolt of the 5th April. By that line he pilloried line after line the established government of British India and the Europeans as a race. He made the riots at Delhi an excuse for so doing and employed the very means most calculate to in flame passion. It is clear that it is my duty to line ward as heavy a sentence as it is in my power to inflict.
(5) In the public interest it is essential that an example should be made of the slipshod journalism that has characterized the methods of the Hindvasi. It is necessary in the best interests of India itself that such writing should cease and that this case should serve as a wholesome warning to others.
(6) In passing sentence I have carefully considered the law. I have noted that both offences are in respect of the same article; indeed that certain passages fall under both of the criminal sections. At the same time I can not forget that a feature of the recent lawlessness, caused by precisely the kind of doctrines which the accused has preached in this article, was the deliberate attacking of individual European by Indian mobs. The responsibility of the accused is therefore great for disseminating racial hatred at a time when it was necessary in the best interests of India itself that the two communities should see the good in each other. There is practically no difference between the gravity of the two offences of which the accused has been convicted. I do not consider that the accused should receive any lighter punishment for the 153Aoffence than he fully deserves for the 124A offence. In my opinion four years would not be excessive for the 124A offence. I have no power to pass such a sentence directly. Bug under section 35of the code of Criminal Procedure I have power to award imprisonment up to four years for separate offences. This is plainly a case for using that power. In the fine place it pervades a punishment which exactly fits the case in the second in avoids the necessity of completing the case to the sessions Court, as would have been necessary otherwise. I hereby direct that Jethmal Parsram Gulrajani, who has been convicted of an offence—punishment under Section 124A—rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years; and that in respect of the offence punishable under section 153A be shall undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years; and I further direct that the second sentence shall take action the expiry of the imprisonment awarded in reject of the offence punishable under section --A I, P, C.
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