Decided on June 03,2007



Shiv Narayan Dhingra, J. - (1.) The appellant was the Publisher and Editor of an Urdu Weekly "Hazoom" in the year 1983. In the Issue dated 18-24th November, 1983 an Article was published under the Title "Arrest Muslims Fighting for their Rights- Secret Government Circular". The Article was authored one by Qurban Ali. The article was considered by the then government as offending and the appellant was tried for offences under Sections 124A IPC and 505 B IPC charging that the Article contained objectionable matter intending to promote feelings of hatred towards the government and was an attempt to excite dissatisfaction towards the then Government established by law in India and it intended to cause fear or alarm in the mind of public and intended to induce a feeling of enmity between Hindus and Muslims and was against the State and public tranquility. The appellant was charged with offences under Sections 124A IPC and 505B IPC. The learned Additional Sessions Judge vide his judgment dated 21st April, 1999, convicted the appellant under both the above Sections and sentenced him to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for three years and fine of Rs. 5000/- under Section 124 A and RI for two years and a fine of Rs. 2000/- under Section 505B of IPC. The appellant has challenged his conviction on the ground that he had committed no offence because of the publication of the impugned Article in the Weekly of which he was the Editor. The article was a fair criticism of the actions of the government and there was no intention of the appellant to create any dissatisfaction or hatred against the government. The appellant was merely exercising his Fundamental Right of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution of India and the article contained the opinions regarding actions of the then Prime Minister, heading the government. The appellant has been wrongly convicted.
(2.) A perusal of the article Would show that the author expressed his anguish over the alleged injustice being done to the Muslims and formed an opinion that Smt. Indira Gandhi had formed an opinion that Indian Muslims did not vote for her and the principles she stood For. She had therefore secretly joined hands with leaders like Chaudhary Charan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpaee in order to curb the voice of Muslims. In the article it is also depicted that Congress (I) had total support of RSS in the previous elections and there was a conspiracy between Smt. Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajapayee.
(3.) The learned Sessions Judge in his judgment observed that the very title of the article attempts to promote feelings of hatred in the minds of Muslims and it also attempts to excite dissatisfaction in the minds of the Muslims towards the government. The contents of the article were such that the article promoted the feelings of hatred and contempt towards government established by law and was an attempt to incite dissatisfaction towards the government established by law. The article also promoted feelings of enmity between Hindus and Muslims. The learned Additional Sessions Judge also observed that although there was no evidence on record that after publication of this article any revolt took place, but the article was certainly objectionable and it attempted to promote feelings of hatred. Thus, he convicted the appellant under Section 124 A. The learned Sessions Judge was also of the view that the caption of the article and the article as a whole was likely to cause fear in the minds of public and would induce feelings of enmity between Hindus and Muslims.;

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