Kedar Nath Singh V/S State Of Bihar is based on Article 19 of the Indian Constitution with the effect the scope of section 124 of Indian Penal Code. Kedar Nath Singh was prosecuted before a Magistrate 1st Class, at Begusarai, in the district of Monghyr, in Bihar. The accused person was convicted under section 124 I.P.C. dealing with the offense of section 1st constitutionality was challenged before the Supreme court in view of Article 19 (i) (a) of the constitution. On 26th day of May 1953 at village Barauni District Monghyr he gave the lecture, the following are its extract:
- Today the dogs of the C.I.C are loitering around Barauni. Many official dogs are sitting even in this meeting. The people of India drove out the Britishers from this country and elected these Congress gonads to the gaddi and seated them on it. Today these congress goondas are sitting on the gaddi due to the mistake of the people, when we drove out the Britishers, we shall strike and turn out these congress goons as well.
These official dogs will also be liquidated along with the congress goons. These congress goons are banking upon the American dollars and imposing various kinds of taxes on the people today. The blood of our brother- Mazdoors and farmers – is being sucked. The capitalist and the zamindars of the country helped these congress goondas. These zamindars and capitalists will also have to be brought before the people’s court; along with these congress goondas.
- On the strength of the organization and unity of farmers and labors, the forward Communist Party will expose the black deeds of the congress goons, who are just like the Britishers. Only the color of the body has changed. They have today established a rule of lathis and bullets in the country. The Britishers had to go away from this land and they had airplanes, guns, bombs and other weapons with them.
- The forward communist party does not be like in the doctrine of the vote itself. The party had always been believing in revolution and does so even at present. We believe in that revolution which will come and the blames of which are capitalists. Zamindars and the Congress leaders of India, who have made it their profession to loot the country, we will be reduced to ashes and on their ashes will be established a government of the poor and the downtrodden people of India.
- It will be a mistake to expect anything from the congress rulers. They (congress rulers) have set up Vinoba Bhave in the midst of the people by causing him to wear a langoti in order to divert the people’s attention from their mistakes. Today Vinoba is playing a drama on the stage of Indian politics. Confusion is being created among the people. I went to tell Vinoba and advise his agents, “ You should understand it that the people cannot be deceived by this yojan, illusion, and fraud of Vinoba: I shall advise Vinobha not to become a puppet in the hands of Congressman. Those persons, who understand the yojan of Vinoba, realize that Vinobha is an agent of the congress government.’’
- I will tell you that this Congress government will not do good to you.
- I want to tell that last word even to the congress tyrants, “you pat with the people and run them by entangling them in the mere of bribery, black marketing, and corruption, today the children of the poor are hankering for food and you congressman are assuming the attitude of Nawabs sitting on the chairs.”
Committing magistrate after perusal of the entire evidence on record found that the appellant is guilty of the offense within the meaning of section 124-A and section 505-B, I.P.C and sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
The accused filed an appeal before Patna High court against the order of trial magistrate which was heard by Mr. Justice Naqui Imam, sitting singly. Kedar Nath Singh upheld the convictions and the sentences and dismissed the appeal. In the course of the judgment, the learned judge observed that the subject matter of the government, that it was full of incitements to revolution and the speech taken as a whole was certainly seditious it is not a speech criticizing any particular policy of the government of criticizing any of its measures. Kedar Nath Singh held that the offenses under both sections had been made out. The convicted person moved the Supreme court and obtained special leave to appeal. It will be noticed that the constitutionally of the provisions of the sections under which the appellant was convicted had not been canvassed before the High court. But in the petition for special leave, to this court, the ground was taken that section 124-A and 505-Bof the I.P.C are inconsistent with Article 19 (i) (a) of the constitution. The matter was placed before the Division Bench. Since the matter involved the constitutional issue, hence it was transferred to the constitution bench. Supreme court also field the hearing of Appeal No. 124-126 of 1958 in which the government of U.P. is appellant. In criminal appeal No. 124 of 1958, the accused person is one Mohd. Ishaq Illim, he was prosecuted for having delivered a speech at Aligarh as chairman of the Reception Committee of the All India Muslim Convention on October 30, 1953. His speech on that occasion was thought to be seditious. After the necessary sanction, the magistrate held an inquiry and committed the case to the session. The learned sessions judge Convicted him under section 124-A I.P.C, and sentenced him one year RJ, The convicted person preferred and appeal to the High court. In the high court, the constitutionally of section 124-A was challenged.
In criminal appeal No. 125 of 1958, a meeting of the Bolshevik party was organized in village, Hanumanganj, in the district of Basti in Uttar Pradesh. On that occasion, the respondent Ramanand was found to have delivered an objectionable speech in so far Kedar Nath Singh has advocated the use of violence for overthrowing the government established by law. The learned magistrate held on inquiry and ultimately committed him to take his trial before the court of sessions. The learned session judge convicted the accused under section 124-A .I.P.C. and sentenced him to 3 years R.I. against the order of conviction and sentence, the accused preferred an appeal to the high court.
In criminal NO. 126 OF 1958, the appellant in one paras Nath Tripathi. Kedar Nath Singh is alleged to have delivered a speech in the village Mansapur in the district of Faizabad on 26th September, 1955, in which he is said to have exhorted the audience to organize a volunteer army and resist the government and its servants to organize a volunteer army and resist the government and its servants by violent means. He is said to have excited the audience with interest to create feeling of hatred and enmity against the government when he was placed on trial for an offense under section 124-A.I.P.C. the accused applied for writ of habeas corpus in high court of Allahabad on the ground that his detention was illegal in as much as the provisions of section 124-A .I.P.C were void as being in contravention of fundamental right of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the concurring. The learned Judges of the High Court is separate but concurring judgment took the view that section 124-A.I.PC. was ultra vires Article 19 (i)(a) of the Constitution but the certificate of fitness to the state of U.P. to file an appeal before the supreme court was granted.
Sh C.B. Agarwal who appeared on behalf of the state of U.P. contended that in the judgment of High court it was laid down by the full bench that section 124-A of the Indian penal code was ultra vires article 19 (I
) (a) of the constitution and thereof, void for the reason that it was not in the interest of public order and that the restrictions imposed thereby were not reasonable, restriction on the freedom of speech and expression was erroneous. He further contended that the section imposed come within the saving clause (2) of Article 19 and that the reason given by the High Court to the contrary was erroneous.
The appeal of Kedar Nath dismissed and the 3 appeals filed by the state of U.P. are remanded to High Court of Allahabad to decide in reference to the observation. The restriction imposed by Section 124-A is in the interest of public order and within the ambit of permissible legislative interference with the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 19(i)(a).
Each one of the constituent elements of the offense under Section 505 has reference to, and a direct effect on the security of the state or public order. The word, written or spoken, etc, which have the pernicious tendency or intention of creating public disorder or disturbance of law and order. The law takes steps to prevent such activities in the interest of public order.
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