Decided on August 28,1935

EMPEROR Appellant
A A ALWE Respondents


John Beaumont, Kt. , C. J. - (1.) THIS is an appeal by the Government of Bombay against the acquittal of the accused by the Chief Presidency Magistrate. The accused were charged with committing an offence under Section 17 of the Trade Disputes Act of 1929, in that they instigated and declared an illegal strike. The strike in question was a strike of the textile industry throughout the whole of India, and it was declared on April 23, 1934, as a result of a resolution passed by a body called the All-India Textile Workers' Conference, on January 28, 1934. The conference was called by a body called the Bombay Girni Kamgar Union, in which all the accused were interested.
(2.) THE conference formulated twenty demands, which they proposed and hoped to secure as a result of the strike. THE resolution of the conference and the twenty demands are contained in exhibit A. Four of those demands, namely, those numbered 3, 17, 19 and 20, were demands of a political character, which could only be granted by Government, or as a result of legislation. Section 17 of the Trade Disputes Act provides that " if any person declares, instigates, incites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of, a strike or lock-out which is illegal under the provisions of section 16, he shall be punishable" as therein provided. "strike" is defined in Section 2, Sub-section (i), as meaning "a cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any trade or industry acting in combination, or a concerted refusal, or a refusal under a common understanding, of any number of persons who are or have been so employed to continue to work or to accept employment. "
(3.) SECTION 16 defines a strike, which is illegal. A strike is illegal, which, under Sub-section (I) (a), " has any object other than the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers or employers locking out are engaged " ; and, under Sub-section (1) (ft), " is designed or calculated to inflict severe, general and prolonged hardship upon the community and thereby to compel the Government to take or abstain from taking any particular course of action. " The sub-sections are connected by the copulative " and," so that a strike rendered illegal is one which falls within the terms of both sub-sections, The class of strike, therefore, which is rendered illegal, is one, which has objects beyond the furtherance of a particular trade dispute, and which is designed or calculated to coerce Government by inflicting severe, general and prolonged hardship upon the community.;

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