STATE OF GUJARAT Vs. MARTANDRAI GANGASHANKAR SHASTRY
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
STATE OF GUJARAT
MARTANDRAI GANGASHANKAR SHASTRY
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(1.) This appeal is against an acquittal. The respondents were charged with having held a public meeting within 24 hours from the date of election in contravention of section 126 of the Representation of Peoples Act. The learned Magistrate passed an order of acquittal on the ground that there were discrepancies between the evidence of a police officer and the evidence of witnesses examined by the prosecution.
(2.) 2. When a charge of holding a public meeting in contravention of the Act is framed against an accused person the prosecution must prove three things:- (1) that the accused held a public meeting (2) that the meeting was a public one and (3) that what was held was a meeting. Holding a public meeting is different from attending it.
(3.) 3. In order to prove what was held is a meeting the prosecution must adduce satisfactory evidence. If thousands of persons assemble at the Chowpaty Beach at random it cannot be called a meeting. If taking advantage of the large number of persons present at the Chowpaty Beach a person addresses them it cannot be said to be a meeting. But if on seeing a person speaking the persons present at the Chowpaty Beach which is a public place go nearer to the speaker in order to hear him then perhaps we can say that it was a meeting.;
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