KESHAV SINGH Vs. SPEAKER LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
LAWS(ALL)-1965-3-17
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
Decided on March 10,1965

KESHAV SINGH Appellant
VERSUS
SPEAKER, LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

LIVERSIDGE V. ANDERSON [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF PUNJAB VS. AJAIB SINGH [REFERRED TO]
M S M SHARMA VS. KRISHNA SINHA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. ABDUL SAMAD [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

HARDWARI LAL VS. THE ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA AND ORS. [LAWS(P&H)-1977-4-19] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)THIS is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for the issue of a Writ in the nature of Habeas Corpus setting the petitioner at liberty.
(2.)THE petitioner had been detained in the District Jail, Lucknow, under a warrant issued over the signature of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Uttar Pradesh, showing that the petitioner had been convicted for contempt of the Legislative Assembly and sentenced to seven days' imprisonment. This petition was filed on March 19, 1364, before the Lucknow Bench of this Court. The petition was admitted on the same day and an interim order was made directing the petitioner to be released on ball on furnishing two sureties in the sum of Rs. 1,000/- each and a personal bond in the like amount to the satisfaction of the District Magistrate, Lucknow. It may be mentioned that on March 19, 1864, the petitioner had served six days out of the sentence of seven days and only one day's imprisonment remained to be suffered by him.
(3.)THERE is no real controversy as to the facts of the case. The petitioner has filed a supplementary affidavit which gives the facts in detail. A pamphlet had been published and circulated to Gorakhpur as well as in the precincts of the Legislative Assembly, making allegations of corruption etc. against one Narsingh Narain Pandey (a member of the Legislative Assembly ). A complaint was made by Narsingh Narain Pandey and others in the Legislative Assembly that this amounted to a breach) of the privilege of Narsingh Narain Pandey and amounted to contempt of the Legislative Assembly. The question was referred to the Privileges Committee and the Privileges committee issued notices to four persons, namely, the petitioner (Keshav Singh), Shyam Narain Stngh, Hub Lal Duhey and Mahatam Singh. Out of these four persons, it was alleged that the petitioner, Shyam Narain Singh and Hub Lal Dubey had printed and distributed the said pamphlet and Mahatam Singh had distributed the pamphlet at the gate leading to the lobby of the House. The Privileges Committee found the petitioner. Shyam Narain Singh and Hub Lal Dubey guilty of the contempt of the House and recommened that they be reprimanded. Thereafter the Assembly passed a resolution that a reprimand be administered to the petitioner, Shyam Narain Singh and Hub Lal Duhey for having committed contempt of the Assembly by printing and publishing the pamphlet. Notices were issued to these three persons to appear before the Assembly to receive the reprimand. Shyam Narain Singh, and Hub Lal Dubey appeared before the Assembly on February 19, 1964, and received the reprimand but the petitioner failed to appear before the Assembly, in spite of being repeatedly required to do so, alleging inability to procure money to pay the fare for the necessary railway journey. Thereupon, respondent No. 1 (the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly) Issued a warrant for the arrest of the petitioner and on March 13, 1364, the Marshal of the Assembly arrested the petitioner at Gorakhpur and on March 14, 1964, produced him at the Bar of the Legislative Assembly. The petitioner was asked his name by the Speaker repeatedly but he would not answer any question at all. He further refused to face the Speaker. After the reprimands had been administered, the Speaker brought to the notice of the Assembly a letter dated March 11, 1964, written by the petitioner to the Speaker in which he stated that he protested against the sentence of reprimand and further stated that the contents of the pamphlet were correct and that a brutal attack had been made on democracy by issuing "nadirshahi Farman" (warrant) upon him. The petitioner admitted having written this letter. Respondent No. 3 (Shrimati Sucheta Kripalani) moved a motion that the petitioner be awarded seven days imprisonment for having committed another contempt of the House. The Assembly thereupon passed a resolution that
"keshav Singh be sentenced to imprisonment for seven days for having written a letter worded in language which constitutes contempt of the House and for his misbehaviour towards the House. "
A warrant was issued to the Marshal of the House and the Superintendent, District Jail, Lucknow, stating that the Legislative Assembly had sentenced the petitioner to simple imprisonment for seven days for committing the offence of contempt of the Legislative Assembly and ordering that the petitioner be detained in the District Jail at Lucknow for a period of seven days. The petitioner was taken to the Jail on the same day and imprisoned there. As already mentioned above, this petition was moved on March 19, 1964, before the Lucknow Bench of this Court and, on the same day, the petitioner was released on ball.
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