§ Mr. MACKARNESS
asked the Undersecretary whether his attention has been called to the conviction of the editor of an Indian newspaper for sedition, by a magistrate of five years' standing at Nagpur, in respect of an article written by him ridiculing the acceptance by Indians of titles of honour, and advocating certain specified reforms, such as the reduction of the Salt Tax, the abolition of liquor shops, the freeing of elementary education, and the releasing of prisoners deported without trial; whether the defendant was fined £70 or, alternatively, a year's imprisonment; and whether he can say upon whose advice such a prosecution was instituted, and whether there is any appeal against the sentence?
The MASTER of ELIBANK
The Secretary of State is aware of the prosecution referred to. The penalty imposed was a fine of Rs. 1,000, equal to £66 13s. 4d., or in default a year's simple imprisonment. All prosecutions for sedition under Section 124a of the Indian Penal Code 1987 require the sanction of the Government before they can be instituted, and such sanction was given in this case by the Chief Commissioner. The sentence is open to appeal.