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King-Emperor vs Kaliji Alias Kali Singh And Ors.

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad|25 August, 1901


JUDGMENT Banerji, J.
1. The applicants have been convicted under Sections 147 and 325, I.P.C. It appears that a plot of land No. 266 had a grove on it which belonged to one Bhuneshar Singh, a minor, under the guardianship of two ladies, Musammat Rekha and Musammat Ram Piari. It has been found that the land was sown with sugarcane on behalf of the ladies in the year 1308F., that Ram Ghulam Singh and others claimed to be the cultivators of that land on behalf of the zamindars, and that consequently a dispute arose between the party of the ladies and the party of Ram Ghulam Singh. The applicants are the servants of the ladies. On the 27th of January, 1901, the party of Ram Ghulam Singh came to the land and began cutting the sugarcane crop. The applicants, who were headed by Kali Singh, resisted Ram Ghulam Singh's party, and a lathi fight took place, in which two persons sustained grievous hurt. The applicants have been convicted of the offence of rioting in consequence of the part taken by them in the fight. It is urged on their behalf that they were exercising their right of private defence, and that consequently they were not guilty of any offence. On the finding of the Magistrate, which has been approved of and affirmed by the Sessions Judge, and having regard to the rulings of this Court, this contention must fail. The Magistrate has found that the applicants' party had resolved beforehand to make an assault under the pretence of cutting the sugarcane, that they had gathered together at a karkhana under the leadership of Kali Singh, and that after holding a consultation they proceeded to the spot where Ram Ghulam Singh's party was cutting the crops, and there a fight took place. It was held in Queen-Empress v. Prag Dat (1898) I.L.R. 20 All. 459 that "when a body of men are determined to vindicate their rights, or supposed rights, by unlawful force, and when they engage with men who, on the other hand, are equally determined to vindicate by unlawful force their rights, or supposed rights, no question of self-defence arises." That ruling fully applies to this case, and having regard to it the plea of self-defence cannot be sustained. The Learned Counsel for the applicants referred to the ruling of the Bombay High Court in Queen-Empress v. Narsang Pathabhai (1890) I.L.R. 14 Bom. 441 That case is, in my opinion, distinguishable, as it was decided with reference to its own peculiar circumstances, which were different from those of the present case. The ruling of the Calcutta High Court in Pachkauri v. Queen-Empress (1897) I.L.R. 24 Calc. 686 upon which the Learned Counsel relies, no doubt supports his contention. There it was held that where a body of men who were rightfully in possession found it necessary to protect themselves from aggression on the part of the complainant's party, they were justified in taking such precautions as they thought were required and in so doing they could not be held to be members of an unlawful assembly. The view taken in that case is not in accord with that adopted in the ruling of this Court to which I have referred above, and I think I should follow the latter ruling. As the plea of self-defence fails the application must be dismissed. I see no reason to interfere with the sentence.
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King-Emperor vs Kaliji Alias Kali Singh And Ors.


High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad

25 August, 1901
  • Banerji