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“Kerala HC Rejects Plea to Quash Sedition Case Against Man Accused Of Maintaining Parallel Telephone Exchange In Secrecy”

The Kerala High Court rejected, a plea to quash a Sedition case against a person accused of upholding a parallel telephone exchange in secrecy. The Crime was recorded by Manjeri Police Station against Firoz alleging offences punishable under Sections 124A, 420 IPC, Sections 4 and 20 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Sections 3 and 6 of Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933.

Justice P. Somarajan filed a petition before the High court and contended that the penal provision under the Indian Penal Code would not stand attracted and the accused cannot be charged for the said offenses when it is covered by provisions contained in a special enactment. He referred to the landmark Supreme Court judgment in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Aman Mittal.

While dismissing this argument bench Observed:

“The Sections 4 and 20 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Sections 3 and 6 of Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 are self-governing offences having no overriding effect over Chapter XIII of Indian Penal Code. The allegation levelled against is not confining to the provisions contained in the special enactment, but extend to the offence of sedition punishable under Section 124A of IPC and the offence of cheating by playing dishonesty on the statutory authority. It is not a simple case of violation of any of the provisions contained in the special enactment. Hence there cannot be any overriding effect especially when the allegation levelled against would prima facie satisfy the ingredients which would attract sedition as defined under Section 124A IPC by maintaining a parallel telephone exchange in secrecy and also the offence of cheating by playing deception on the statutory authority causing unlawful loss and gaining unlawful enrichment.”

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