What is necessary to constitute the offence of waging or attempting to wage war against the Government of India?
1. Waging or attempting or conspiring to wage or collecting men and ammunition to wage war against the Government of India (Ss. 121, 121-A, 122 and 123); 2. Assaulting President, or Governor of any State with intent to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power (S. 124); 3. Sedition (S. 124-A); 4.
War against a power at peace with the Government of India or committing depredations on the territories of such power (Ss. 125-126); and 5. Permitting or aiding or negligently suffering the escape of, or rescuing or harbouring a State prisoner. (Ss. 128-130).
Ingredients of the offence of waging war against Government:
The waging of war is the attempt to accomplish by violence any purpose of a public nature. When a multitude of persons rise and assemble to attain by force and violence any object of a general public nature, it amounts to waging war against the Government.
It is not the number of the force, but the purpose and intention that constitutes the offence and distinguishes it from riot or any other rising for a private purpose.
In order to constitute an offence of waging or attempting to wage war under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code, it is necessary to show that (a) the accused waged war, attempted to wage such war or abetted the waging of such war, and (b) that such war was against the Government of India. Thus, if a joins and insurrection against the Government of India, he has committed the offence of waging war.
The above offence is punishable with death or imprisonment for life, and also fine.
Law of Sedition:
Sedition consists in exciting or attempting to excite in others certain bad feelings towards the Government. Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code embodies the law of sedition.
It reads: “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by sign, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
The expression ‘disaffection’ includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.
Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.
Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.
The essential ingredients of the section are: (1) bringing or at- Of Offences Relating to the Army, Navy and Air Force tempting to bring into hatred or contempt, or exciting or attempting to excite disaffection towards the Government of India, and (2) such act or attempt may be done (i) by words, either spoken or written, or (ii) by signs, or (iii) by visible representation.
The essence of the crime of sedition consists in the intention with which the language is used. The intention of a speaker, writer or publisher, may be inferred from the particular speech, article, or letter. The requisite intention cannot be attributed to a person if he was not aware of the contents of the seditious publication.
It is not necessary that the acts or words complained of must either incite to disorder, or must be such as to satisfy reasonable men that that is their intention or tendency.
Mere existence of feeling of hatred is not punishable unless an attempt is made to excite such feelings in others and that hatred and contempt must be hatred and contempt of the State, or of the established Government.
It has been held that it is not an offence of sedition where the object of the speaker is to obtain Swaraj by lawful and peaceful means.
Even an attempt to remove from power the ministers in office or any agitation for repeal of an Act is permissible if no unlawful means are employed.
On the same analogy seeking to overthrow Government by constitutional means and substitute another equally constitutional Government is not sedition unless there is intention to induce people to cease to obey law or uphold lawful authority.