C T SAMBANDAM Vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
STATE OF TAMIL NADU
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Somasundaram, J. -
(1.) Accused 1 to 4 and 6 in C. C. No. 3308 of 1953 on the file of the Seventh Presidency Magistrate, Egmore, are the petitioners herein. These five petitioners along with another were tried by the Magistrate for offences under Sections 147, 337, 427 and 149, I. P. C. The fifth accused was acquitted and the petitioners alone were convicted as follows : Accused 1 to 4 were convicted under Section 147, I. P. C. and sentenced to a fine of Rs. 20; they were also convicted under Section 337 read with Section 149, I. P. C. and sentenced to imprisonment till the rising of the court; in addition, they were convicted under Section 427 read with Section 149, I. P. C. and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 20. The sixth accused was convicted under Section 147, I. P. C. and sentenced to imprisonment till the rising of the court and under Section 337, I. P. C. read with Section 149, I. P. C. he was also sentenced to imprisonment till the rising of the court and for the offence under Section 427 read with Section 149, I. P. C. he was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 15.
(2.) This case is an off-shoot of the tramway strike. The tramway company suspended the tram service on 12-4-1953. The accused were all tramway workers. The third accused belongs to the tramway workers' association while the first accused was the Vice-President of the Tramway Workers' Union. Except the sixth accused, the rest were all office-bearers in the Union or the Association.
(3.) On 24-4-1853 a large number of these tramway workers had collected at the junction, of Rundalls Road and Poonamallee High Road at about 9 A.M. According to the prosecution they had collected there for the purpose of starting trouble; but according to the defence almost all the workers had come there for the purpose of taking back their ration cards, which, according to them, the labour officer promised to re-turn on that day. The police having information of the likelihood of the gathering of these persons that morning had posted police officers to maintain law and order. According to the evidence of the Inspector of Police, P. W. 1, they were shouting against Mr. Brookes and other officers of the company. He kept the crowd on the platform and off the road. The police were trying to disperse them and the crowd were moving towards the west on the Poonamalee High Road. At about 9-15 or 9-20 a.m. the Traffic Manager, Vanspal, who is P. W. 3 in this case was proceeding in his car from west towards his office in Rundalls Road. Near the tramshed and near the house of Dr. Krishnaswami there was a car in front of him to turn to Dr. Krishna-swami's nursing home. The car in which Mr. Vanspal was going and which was being driven by P. W. 4, therefore, slowed down, and after the proceeding car gave way, P. W. 4 started moving slowly towards the office. The workers who were assembled there are said to have rushed at the car and pelted stones which hit the front glass pane and also the bonnet. As a re-suit of this damage was caused to the glass pane and hurt was caused to the driver P. W. 4. The workers then are alleged to have shouted slogans "Down with Brookes, down with the Traffic Manager" and so on. The Police then intervened and several of the workmen then dispersed. The police were able to round off about 66 persons all of whom were taken to the police station. The petitioners herein were among the 66 persons who were rounded off by the police and taken to the police station. The Commissioner of Police later released all of them. on bail. The police laid the charge sheet against the petitioners alone for offences under Sections 147, 427, 337 and 323, I. P. C.;
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