Ordinance No. III of 1930
An Ordinance to make provision for the trial of the persons accused in the Lahore conspiracy case.
Whereas an emergency has arisen which makes it necessary to provide specially for the trial of the accused in the cases known as the Lahore conspiracy case;
Now, therefore, in exercise of the power conferred by section 72 of the Government of India Act, the Governor General is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:
1. This Ordinance may be called the Lahore Conspiracy Case Ordinance, 1930.
2. In this Ordinance –
(a) the “Code” means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; V of 1896
(b) the “High Court” means the High court of Judicature at Lahore; and
(c) the “said cases” mean the cases specified in section 3.
Trial of Lahore Conspiracy cases by Special Tribunal
3. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, all cases pending in the Court of Rai Sahib Pandit Sri Kishan, Magistrate of the First Class, Lahore, against any or all of the persons named in the Schedule shall be tried by the Tribunal to be constituted under section 4.
Constitution of the Tribunal
4. (1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Ordinance, the Chief Justice of the High Court shall constitute a Tribunal for the trial of the said cases consisting of three persons who at the time of such constitution are Judges, Additional Judges or officiating Judges of the High Court.
(2) The Chief Justice shall appoint one of the members of the Tribunal to be President of the Tribunal.
Appointment of New Member where Member Unable to Attend
5. (1) If, for any reason, any member of the Tribunal is unable to discharge his duties, the Chief Justice shall appoint another Judge, Additional Judge, or officiating Judge of the High Court to be member of the Tribunal.
(2) Notwithstanding any change in the composition of the Tribunal, it shall not be incumbent on the Tribunal to re-call or re-hear any witness who has already given evidence, and it may act on any evidence already recorded by or produced before it.
Procedure of the Tribunal
6. (1) When the Tribunal has been constituted it shall have cognisance of the said cases and the jurisdiction of the aforesaid Magistrate shall cease.
(2) The Tribunal shall, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, follow the procedure prescribed in Chapter XXI of the Code for the trial of warrant cases by Magistrates.
(3) In matters not coming within the scope of sub-section (2), the provisions of the Code, so far as they are not inconsistent with this Ordinance, shall apply to the proceedings of the Tribunal; and for the purpose of applying the said provisions, the proceedings already taken before the aforesaid Magistrate shall be deemed to be proceedings under Chapter XVIII of the Code whereunder the accused persons have been committed to the Tribunal for trial, and the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a Court of Session to whom the accused persons have been duly committed by the aforesaid Magistrate.
(4) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the Tribunal, the opinion of the majority shall prevail.
Conduct of the prosecution
7. (1) The Local Government may appoint a person to be prosecutor for the conduct of the prosecution of the said cases, and such other persons to assist him as it may think fit.
(2) The prosecutor appointed under this section shall have the powers and shall discharge the duties of a Public Prosecutor under the Code.
Power of the Tribunal
8. The Tribunal may pass upon any person convicted by it any sentence authorised by law for the punishment of the offence of which such person is convicted and no order of confirmation shall be necessary in respect of any sentence by it.
Special Powers of the Tribunal
9. (1) The Tribunal shall have powers to take such measures as it may think necessary to secure the orderly conduct of the trial; and where any accused by his voluntary act has rendered himself incapable of appearing before the Tribunal, or resists his production before it, or behaves before it in a persistently disorderly manner, or in any other way willfully conducts himself to the serious prejudice of the trial, the Tribunal may, at any stage of the trial, dispense with the attendance of such accused for such period as it may think fit and proceed with the trial in his absence.
(2) Where a plea is required in answer to a charge from an accused whose attendance has been dispensed with under sub-section (1), such accused shall be deemed not to plead guilty.
(3) An order under sub-section (1) dispensing with the attendance of an accused shall not affect his right of being represented by a pleader at any stage of the trial.
Special Rule of Evidence
10. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, (1 of 1872) when the statement of any person has been recorded by a Magistrate, such statement may be admitted in evidence before the Tribunal if such person is dead or cannot be found or is incapable of giving evidence, and the Tribunal is of opinion that such death, disappearance or incapacity has been caused in the interests of any accused.
Finality of Proceedings of Tribunal
11. The judgment of the Tribunal shall be final and conclusive and, not withstanding the provisions of the Code or of any other law for the time being in force, or of anything having the force of law by whatsoever authority made or done, there shall be no appeal from any order or sentence of the Court, and the High Court shall not have authority to revise any such order or sentence or to transfer any case from the Tribunal or to make any order under section 491 of the Code or have any jurisdiction of any jurisdiction of any kind in respect of any proceedings under this Ordinance.
Power of the President in Ancillary Matters
12. (1) The president may make all necessary orders for the transfer to the custody of the Tribunal of all records, documents, exhibits and other things connected with the said cases.
(2) The President may also, from time to time, make orders consistent with this Ordinance to provide for the place and conduct of the trial, and all other ancillary matters which he may deem necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Ordinance.
1. Sukh Dev alias Dyal alias Swami alias Villager, son of Ram Lal, Thaper Khatri, of Mohalla Arya Samaj, Lyallpur.
2. Agya Ram alias Masterji, son of Nand Lal, Brahman, of Lalla, police station Killa Sobha Singh, District Sialkot.
3. Kishori Lal Rattan alias Deo Datt Rattan alias Mast Ram Shastri, son of Raghbar Dutt, Brahman, of Dharampur, police station Hajipur, District Hoshiarpur.
4. Dess Raj, son of Ram Kishan, Khatri, of Balgan, police station Sambrial, District Sialkot.
5. Prem Dutt alias Master alias Amrit Lal, son of Ram Datt, Khatri, of Gujrat.
6. Surindra Nath Pandey alias Stone, son of Hira Lal Pandey, Brahman resident of Mohalla Sabzimandi, Cawnpore.
7. Jai Dev alias Harish Chander, son of Babu Salig Ram, Khatri Kapur, Sadar Bazaar, Hardoi.
8. Sheo Varma alias Parbhat alias Harnarain alias Ram Lal alias Ram Narain Kapur, son of Kanhiya Lal Varma, Khatri, of Hardoi.
9. Gaya Parshad alias Dr. B. S. Nigam alias Ram Lal alias Ram Nath alias Desh Bhagat, Kurmi, resident of Khajuri Khurd, Police station Billhaur, District Cawnpore.
10. Mahabir Singh alias Partab, of Shahpore Tehla, post office Raja ke Rampur, District Eta.
11. Bhagat Singh, son of Kishan Singh of Khawasrian, Lahore.
12. Batukeshwar Dutt alias Battu alias Mohan, son of G.D. Dutt, of Bedwan, Bengal.
13. Ajoy Kumar Ghosh alias Negro-General, Son of Dr. Ghosh, of Cawnpore.
14. Jatin Sanyal (Jatindra Nath Sanyal), son of Hira Nath Sanyal, of Allahabad.
15. Bijoy Kumar Sinha alias Bachu, son of Markando Kumar Sinha of Mohalla Karachi Ganj, Cawnpore.
16. Shivram Rajguru alias "M", son of Hari Raj Guru, of Sadashiv Peth, Poona.
17. Kundan Lal alias Partap alias Partap alias No. 1, of Fyzabad.
18. Kanwal Nath Trivedi, alias Kanwal Nath Tewari, son of Pandit Surej Nath Tewari, of Sarya, police station Govindagunj, Champaran (student Vidya Sagar College, Calcutta).
19. Bhagwan Dass alias Gunthala, of Jhansi.
20. Chander Shekar Azad alias Panditji, son o Baij Nath Ram alias Sita Ram, Brahman, of Baij Nath Tula, Police station Bhilopur, Benares.
21. Kelash patti alias Kali Charan, son of Harde Narain, Kayasth, of Mongranwan, police station Chamirpur, District Azamgarh.
22. Bhawati Charan alias B.C. Vohra, son of Rai Sahib Shiv Charan Dass, Brahman, of Lahore.
23. Yashpal, son of Hira Lal, Khatri, of Nidhon, police station Hamirpur, District Kangra, and of Wachhowali, Lahore.
24. Satgurdyal, son of Pandit Sukhbasi Lal Avasthi, Brahman, of Mohalla Bama Khori, Cawnpore.
Simla IRWIN 1st May, 1930. Viceroy and Government-General.
On the 11th July 1929 the enquiry in the proceedings known as the Lahore Conspiracy Case commenced before a Magistrate, who was for this purpose relieved of all other duties. The accused in the case number 24, of whom 5 are still absconding. The offence alleged against the accused are both in their own nature and in their relation to the public security of unusually serious character. They include the murder o Mr. Saunders, Assistant Superintendent of Police, and head constable Chanan Singh in Lahore, on the 17th December 1928, the establishment of bomb factories at Lahore and Saharanpur, the conspiracy leading to the throwing of two bambs in the Legislative Assembly on the 8th April 1929, and various other revolutionary activities. For the purpose of establishing these chares which were concerned with many different places and with events occurring over a considerable period of time, the prosecution considered it would be necessary to produce about 600 witnesses.
2. Two of the accused had resorted to hunger strike before the commencement of the enquiry. A number of other followed the same course shortly afterwards with the result that by the 26th July 1929, the case had to be adjourned owing to some of the accused being unfit to attend the Court. The case had to be successively adjourned on the same ground until the 24th September. It was then resumed, but there were numerous interruptions owing to defiant and disorderly conduct by some of the accused or demonstrations by members of the Public. On February 14th 1930, most of the accused again went on hunger strike, and case was on this account adjourned from the 8th February till the 8th March.
3. The enquiry has now been in progress for more than 9 months and during that time it has been possible to examine about 230 witnesses, only out of a unprecedented delays, and repeatedly disturbed by disorderly conduct and revolutionary demonstrations, has tended to bring the administration of justice into contempt, and it is impossible to count upon obtaining a conclusion by the normal methods of procedure within any calculable period.
4. After anxious consideration I have come to the conclusion that neither the ends of justice nor the interests of the accused are served by allowing these proceedings to drag out to a length which cannot at present be foreseen. Public policy clearly demands that the grave charges against the accused should be thoroughly scrutinised and finally adjudicated upon with the least possible delay, by a tribunal of indubitable impartiality and authority, and that the preliminary proceedings which have already extended over nine months and the end of which is not yet in sight should be terminated. It is also necessary to ensure that obstructions shall not further interrupt the course of justice. I have accordingly decided to avail myself of the authority conferred upon the Governor General under section 72 of the Government of India Act and to issue an Ordinance which has the effect of entrusting the trial of this case to a tribunal to be constituted by the Chief Justice of the High Court Judicature at Lahore, and consisting of three Judges of the High Court and to invest this tribunal with powers to deal with wilful obstruction. By these means the accused will be assured of a trial before a Court of the highest possible authority and it may be expected that a final and just decision will be reached with no unnecessary delay. I am convinced that the action which I have thought it right to take will best secure the achievement of the true ends of justice and re-establish respect for the administration of the law.
1st May, 1930. Viceroy and Governor-General.