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OP-ED

CHENNAI

THE HINDU

MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011

17

Rare documents on Bhagat Singhs trial and life in jail


Digitalised records with the Supreme Court reveal some inspiring facets of the revolutionary.
Chaman Lal

hen the Supreme Court of


India established a museum to display landmarks
in the history of Indias judicial system, it also put on display records of some historic trials. The first
exhibition that was organised was the
Trial of Bhagat Singh. It was opened on
September 28, 2007, on the occasion of
the birth centenary celebrations of one
of the most significant among martyrs
and popular heroes. Noorul Hooda, Curator of the Museum, and Rajmani Srivastava of the National Archives worked
to collect documents, items like bomb
shell remains, pictures and publications.
Not all of what was collected could be
displayed in the exhibition. In 2008, the
Supreme Court digitalised the exhibits.
Some of Bhagat Singhs rare writings
thus came to light for the first time since
he was executed on March 23, 1931 at the
Lahore Central Jail along with Rajguru
and Sukhdev. How the three young patriots were put to judicial murder, is
brought out by the eminent legal scholar, A.G. Noorani, in his book, The Trial of
Bhagat Singh Politics of Justice.
The most significant part of Bhagat
Singhs life is that spent in jail since his
arrest on April 8, 1929 from the Central
Assembly in Delhi, where he and B.K.
Dutt offered themselves to be arrested
after throwing harmless bombs in the
Assembly to make the deaf hear. They
faced two trials. The first was in the
Delhi bomb case. It started on May 7,
1929 in Delhi and was committed to the
Sessions Judge, on charges under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code and
the Explosives Act. That trial started in
June. Bhagat Singh and Dutt made a
historic statement on June 6. Dutt was
represented by the nationalist counsel
Asaf Ali. Bhagat Singh fought his own
case with the help of a legal adviser.
On June 12, in less than a week, both

were convicted and transported for life.


From the June 6 statement to his last
letter to his comrades written on March
22, 1931, a day before his execution, Bhagat Singh read and wrote so much: one
can only marvel at the explosion of talent at the age of 21 years-plus. He wrote
letters to family members and friends,
jail and court officials, and penned major
articles including Why I am an Atheist,
Letter to Young Political Workers, and
Jail Notebook.
On June 14, after the conviction, Bhagat Singh was transferred to Mianwali
and Dutt to the Lahore jail. That was the
start of a chain of struggles throughout
the period they were in jail. It began with
a hunger strike from June 15 by both
Bhagat Singh and Dutt, demanding the
status of political prisoners. Bhagat
Singh was also shifted to Lahore jail after
some time. He and Dutt were kept away
from the other accused in the Lahore
conspiracy case, such as Sukhdev. The
trial in that case, related to the murder of
Saunders, began on July 10, 1929. Bhagat
Singh, who was on hunger strike since
June 15 along with Dutt, was brought to
the court on a stretcher. The other accused in the case came to know about
this hunger strike on that day, and almost all of them joined the strike.
This historic hunger strike by Bhagat
Singh and his comrades resulted in the
martyrdom of Jitender Das on September 13, 1929. Bhagat Singh and the other
comrades ended their hunger strike on
September 2 after receiving assurances
from a Congress party team and British
officials on the acceptance of their demands, but they resumed it on September 4 as the British officials went back on
their word. It finally ended on October 4
after 112 days, though the status of political prisoner was still not given; some
other demands were acceded to.
During the Lahore conspiracy case
trial conducted by Special Magistrate
Rai Sahib Pandit Kishan Chand, an in-

cident occurred on October 21, 1929.


Provoked by an approver named Jai Gopal, Prem Dutt, the youngest among the
accused persons, threw a slipper at him.
Despite the other accused dissociating
themselves from the act, the magistrate
ordered the handcuffing of all of them.
Bhagat Singh, Shiv Verma, B.K. Dutt,
Bejoy Kumar Sinha, Ajoy Ghosh, Prem
Dutt and others were beaten after they
refused to be handcuffed. They were
treated brutally inside the jail and at the
court gate in front of the magistrate.
Ajoy Ghosh and Shiv Verma fell unconscious following the police brutality.
Bhagat Singh was targeted by a British
officer by name Roberts.
The details of the brutalities were recorded by Bejoy Kumar Sinha. In February 1930, Bhagat Singh resumed his
hunger strike for 15 days, as the British
officials did not fulfil the promises they
had made earlier with respect to
demands.
Meanwhile, the fame of revolutionaries, arising from their hunger strikes
and court statements, soared, while the
image of the British was at its lowest ebb.
The case drew attention the world over.
While dismissing appeals from Bhagat
Singh and Dutt against the Delhi bomb
case judgment, the Punjab High Court in
Lahore acknowledged Bhagat Singh to
be a Sincere Revolutionary.
The British colonial regime led by
Viceroy Irwin took the unprecedented
step of issuing the Lahore conspiracy
case ordinance on May 1, 1930. Under
this, the proceedings that were being
conducted by a Special Magistrate in Lahore were transferred to a three-judge
Special Tribunal established to complete them within a fixed period. The
Tribunals judgment was not to be challenged in the superior courts; only the
Privy Council could hear any appeal.
This ordinance was never approved by
the Central Assembly or the British Parliament, and it lapsed later without any

legal or constitutional sanctity. Its only


purpose was to hang Bhagat Singh in the
shortest possible time. That judgment
sentencing Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and
Rajguru to the gallows was delivered on
October 7, 1930.
The Tribunal began its proceedings on
May 5, 1930. The accused in the Lahore
conspiracy case refused to attend the
proceedings after May 12. On that day
they raised slogans and sung revolutionary songs. Brutalities were repeated on
them, as in October 1929, in front of the
Special Magistrate. This time Ajoy
Ghosh, Kundan Lal and Prem Dutt fell
unconscious. The accused remained absent during the whole proceedings and
remained unrepresented by counsel.
Advocates engaged to defend them were
insulted by the Tribunal. Subsequently,
the accused themselves directed them
not to defend them in their absence.
These details are in A.G. Nooranis book,
The Trial of Bhagat Singh.
What remained out of view all these
years were the many letters that Bhagat
Singh wrote and the petitions he sent to
either the jail authorities or to the Special Tribunal or to the Punjab High
Court, during the period 1929-1930. In
these letters and petitions, Bhagat Singh
sought to expose the British colonial regimes determined efforts to get him
hanged by denying the accused any defence during the trial. Even though the
accused were choosing not to be present
in the court, they were participating in
the legal proceedings through counsel.
The Tribunal refused the revolutionaries counsel, Amolak Ram Kapoor, permission
to
cross-examine
457
prosecution witnesses and allowed the
cross-examination of only five approvers. This was a farce.
The letters reveal another hunger
strike by Bhagat Singh from July 28,
1930, on which he himself informed the
High Court it was against the jail rules.
He was joined in the hunger strike by

Kundan Lal, Prem Dutt Verma, Sukhdev


and Bejoy Kumar Sinha. This hunger
strike continued till at least August 22.
With this, the total period of hunger
strikes observed during his nearly twoyear incarceration becomes about five
months. Probably this is more than the
total period of Mahatma Gandhis hunger strikes during his prolonged political
career starting from South Africa.
When the court finally allowed interviews as sought by Bhagat Singh to prepare his defence, and when he asked for
an adjournment of the case, the court
closed the proceedings without giving
any chance to defence counsel to crossexamine prosecution witnesses or present defence witnesses. Then it reserved
judgment, which was delivered on October 7, 1930.
More such documents might emerge.
The compilation of the complete proceedings of the Delhi Assembly bomb
case and the Special Magistrate Courts
proceedings could bring more facts to
light. The Punjab Archives in Lahore has
135 files of the Bhagat Singh case. These
are not accessible even to Pakistani
scholars; Kuldip Nayar is now trying to
get access to them. In 2006, at the time
of the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, the Acting Chief Justice of the
Pakistan Supreme Court, Rana Bhagwan
Dass, handed over to the Punjab and
Haryana High Court in Chandigarh four
volumes of exhibits of the Lahore conspiracy case. These included some new
documents.
While the source of the documents in
the Supreme Court records is not clearly
mentioned, undoubtedly these are part
of the trial proceedings at both levels.
The letters, self-explanatory in the context of the freedom struggle, show the
amazing command Bhagat Singh had
over the English language, apart from
Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi, his knowledge
of legal terminology and his beautiful

handwriting. In the book, Gandhi and


Bhagat Singh, historian V.N. Dutta expressed doubts about Bhagat Singhs
command over English as he was an under-graduate. He sought to ascribe the
language to Jawaharlal Nehru or Asaf
Ali. For legal professionals, scholars and
students, the letters present a wonderful
experience of how Bhagat Singh had
such maturity in complex matters of legal defence.
But Bhagat Singhs very talent and
competence scared the British colonial
regime and it became even more determined to get rid of him.
The Supreme Courts digitalised records include nearly 20 written Bhagat
Singh documents. Some of these, such as
the June 6, 1929 statement, Ideal of
Indian Revolution, have been published. Only 12 letters or petitions remain
unpublished. This writer acknowledges
the permission granted by the Supreme
Court to do so. Ten of the documents are
in complete form. Only the first page
remains of two letters/documents, one
relating to the October 21, 1929 incident
in court and another petition from
early-1930; the second and likely final
page in these two are not in the digital
records. Also available now is a photograph of Bhagat Singh and Dutt, published in Bande Matram, Lahore (on
April 12, 1929) and Hindustan Times
(April 18, 1929). This was taken by photographer Sham Lal of Kashmere Gate in
Delhi on April 4, 1929 and sent to newspapers for publication by Bhagat Singhs
comrades. The writer is grateful to the
National Archives, New Delhi, for providing the rare newspaper photographs.
[Chaman Lal, the editor of the Bhagat
Singh Documents (Hindi: Publications
Division) and the Jail Notebook and
Other Writings (LeftWord), is a Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, now
on deputation to The University of the
West Indies, Trinidad &Tobago, as Visiting Professor.]

Letters written by Bhagat Singh to British authorities


The letters show the amazing command Bhagat Singh had over the English language, his knowledge of legal terminology and his beautiful handwriting.
Bhagat Singh Jail Documents
-Supreme Court-1
The Superintendent
(Special Duty)
C.I.D. (Political Branch)
Lahore
Dear Sir,
I will feel much obliged if you will kindly allow me to have an interview with my
father, as I have got some very important
instructions to give him for my defence
counsel in connection with the Delhi case.
I hope you will not disallow it on the
ground that I have already had an interview, because the matter is very
urgent.
Hoping to be favoured
Yours Etc.
Sd/ Bhagat Singh
Noting in Urdu by officials dated
31/5/29
Stamp in English on upper left corner
of the letter admitted in evidence and
added to Special Tribunal Lahore Conspiracy case.
Sd/ Judge
Special Tribunal, date not mentioned.

Jail Document-2
In the Court of the special magistrate,
Lahore
Crown VS. Sukhdev & Others
Charged under section 121N 302+120 B.
This humble petition of the accused
Bhagat Singh most humbly shweth
(states)
1. That the petitioner is going unrepresented in the case.
2. That evidence has been produced in
this court entangling the petitioner in the
murders of Mr. Saunders and Sardar Chanan Singh,
3. That the petitioner may be able to
effectively cross-examine the witnesses,
that (as in Bhagat Singhs own handwriting) it is necessary that the petitioner may
be given an opportunity to visit the spot
and see the roads and other surroundings
in connection with the alleged incident.
4. That the petitioner therefore prays
that proper facilities to be afforded him
for the said Purpose and that the production of further witnesses regarding the
particular incident may be postponed till
the petitioner has been able to examine
the locality.
D/4th Nov.29
Sd./ Bhagat Singh
Petitioner
(Letters written by Bhagat Singh in his
own hand, have been tried to be kept as
close to the original as possible.)
Jail Document-3
To
The Registrar,
The Special Tribunal
Lahore Conspiracy case
Lahore
Sir,
Kindly supply me with an attested copy
of the order of the special magistrate, dated 3rd May 1930, according to which the
inquiry proceedings in that court were
stayed.
Thanking you in anticipation
Yours etc.
D/19th June 1930
Sd./Bhagat Singh
Undertrial
Lahore conspiracy case
Lahore
To,
The Registrar,
Special Tribunal, Poonch House,
Lahore
Through
The Superintendent,
Central jail, Lahore
Noting No.7 by D/20th June 1930
Forwarded to the Registrar, Special
Tribunal Poonch House Lahore, for fa-

vour of necessary action as he deem fit.


Signatures etc. Sd./ Major Ims, Superintendent, Central Jail, Lahore
Jail Document-4
In the court of the Special Tribunal,
Lahore Conspiracy Case, Lahore
Constituted under the Lahore C.C. Special ordinance
Crown VS. Bhagat Singh &Others
Charged under sections121, 121A, 302,
120B etc.
Most Respectfully Shweth:1. That the petitioner is an accused in
the above case.
2. That he is not attending the court,
due to the account given in a previous
letter, submitted by him before this court.
3. That he went on hunger strike in
protest against certain Rules and regulations of jail department and that the
hunger strike had nothing to do with the
trial whatsoever.
4. That according to the provisions of
the special ordinance, accused still have
the right to be represented by a counsel if
so desired.
5. That the case is entering a new stage
i.e. the prosecution evidence is going to be
closed and the accused shall be called upon to produce defence or to make statements if desired.
6. That at this delicate moment the petitioner wants the help of his relatives and
legal advisers.
7. That all the interviews with relatives
and legal advisers have been stopped by
the jail authorities due to the so called
breach of jail discipline caused by his hunger strike.
8. That the purely executive affair is
hampering the cause of justice.
9. That it is prayed in the interests of
justice and fair play that the court be
pleased to issue orders to the jail authorities to allow him all these interviews
which are very essential for defence
purposes.
D/11/8/30
Sd./ Bhagat Singh
Convict-Undertrial
Central Jail, Lahore
No. 488-p D/ 11.8.30
Forwarded to the Registrar, Honble
Special Tribunal Lahore Conspiracy case,
Lahore for favour of disposal.
Lahore / 11.8.30 Sd./ Supdt. Central
Jail, Lahore
Jail Document-5
In the Honble High Court of Judicature (Punjab) Lahore
Charged under sections 302, 121, 121A
etc. of I.P.C
Most respectfully Shweth:1. That the petitioner is an accused in
the Lahore Conspiracy Case, being tried
by the Special Tribunal constituted under
the Lahore Conspiracy Ordinance.
2. That the petitioner and his co-accused refused to attend the court in protest of certain order passed and treatment
meted out to the accused.
3. That the petitioner went on hunger
strike on July 28th30 in protest against
certain regulations of the jail department.
4. That the trial is entering in new stage
i.e. the Prosecution evidence is about to
be closed and the petitioner is to be called
upon to make his statement and to offer
any defence if desired.
5. That the jail authorities have altogether stopped all the interviews of the
petitioner with his relatives and legal
advisers.
6. That the purely executive affair is
hampering the cause of justice and these
orders of the executive are highly illegal.
7. That the petitioner wants the help of
his relatives and legal advisers in deciding
the most delicate questions of defence.
8. That there is a special provision in
the Lahore Conspiracy case Ordinance to

the effect that if any accused voluntarily


disables himself by hunger strike or otherwise or resists his production before the
court, he [will] still have the right to be
represented by counsel in his absence.
9. That in the present circumstances,
the accused feels quite handicapped due
to the above mentioned order of the jail
authorities.
10. That it is prayed that in the interest
of justice and fair play, the court be
pleased to issue such instructions to the
authorities concerned as would be necessary to give full and proper facilities for
arranging defence adequately in a case
where the petitioner is being tried for
such serious offences as may bring extreme penalty of law.
11. That it is prayed that the court be
pleased to issue urgent orders for allowing
interviews
etc.
at
the
earliest
convenience.
D/11/8/30
Sd./ Bhagat Singh
Convict-undertrial
Lahore Conspiracy case
Lahore
Through The Suptdt. Central Jail,
Lahore,
Central Jail, Lahore
No. 127-Sd./11/8/30
Forwarded to the Registrar of the High
Court of Judicature for favour of disposal
Sd./
Jail Document-6
In the Honble High Court of Judicature (Punjab) Lahore
Crown VS. Bhagat Singh & Others
(Lahore Conspiracy case)
Charged under sections 302, 121, 121A
etc. of I.P.C.
Most respectfully Shweth:-- 1. That the
petitioner submitted a petition on 11th
August 1930 to this learned court through
the Supdt. Central jail, Lahore, praying
the court to intervene in the matter of
interviews essential for defence purposes,
with concerned relatives and legal advisers, which have been stopped due to his
resorting to hunger strike as a protest
against certain jail rules.
2. That a full week has elapsed since and
no orders have been received by the
petitioner.
3. That the defence is being unnecessarily handicapped and he is suffering
simply due to [the] high handedness of the
executive authorities.
4. That it is prayed that immediate orders be passed to this effect and the petitioner be informed of that.
D/16/8/30
Jail Document-7
To
The Special Commissioners
Lahore Conspiracy case Tribunal,
Lahore
Sir,
I have just been informed by the jail
authorities that the learned court was
pleased to pass orders on my application
dated 11th Aug.30, to the effect that interviews with legal adviser alone may be
allowed. I was at a loss to understand the
reason of such an order. Why should I not
be allowed to see my relatives, when the
said interviews are very essential for defence purposes? If the order is meant simply to make a show that the accused are
given proper facilities regarding their defence, though in reality nothing of the sort
is done, on the contrary the defence is
hampered at every step, then all my petitions and representations are useless.
My legal adviser, L. Duni Chand Bar-atLaw is in jail. I want to engage a new one,
which I cannot do without the help and
advice of my father. Therefore the interview is very essential. I have to consult my
father about offering the defence. I want
to ascertain how far he can help me in this

respect. If interviews will not be allowed,


the court and jail authorities shall stand
responsible for the serious consequences
that I might have to bear for this
high-handedness.
With no stretch of imagination can I
understand as to why should the court of
law join hands with the executive in such
matters as are immediately concerned
with the administration of justice and be a
party to the unnecessary harassment of
the accused.
I most earnestly request the court to
reconsider their order passed on my said
application and to issue instructions to
the jail authorities to allow my interviews
so long as the trial is going on. They shall
have time enough to treat us as they like
after conviction.
Hoping to be forwarded with an early
decision.
Yours etc.
D/18th Aug.30
Sd./Bhagat Singh
Convict-Undertrial
Jail Document-8
In the Court of the Special Tribunal,
Lahore conspiracy Case Lahore
Crown VS. Sukhdev & Others
Charged Under sections 121, 121 A, 302
& 120 B
Most Respectfully Shweth:1. That the petitioner has today on 22nd
Aug. 30 been supplied with the copies of
the orders of the learned court bearing the
dates 11th August and 22nd August 30.
2. That in spite of the order of 11th
August, no interview has so far been allowed to him.
3. That it is impossible for the petitioner to represent his case personally before
the court on 25th August due to the weakness caused by hunger strike.
4. That unless and until he is allowed to
see his relatives he is not in a position to
engage any counsel.
5. That unless and until he is allowed to
consult his co-accused he cannot decide
about other matters concerning the
defence.
6. That it is for the court to see that
their orders are carried into effect
properly.
7. That it is prayed that the court be
pleased to issue immediate orders to the
jail authorities to allow these interviews
without any further delay.
D/22nd Aug30
Sd/Bhagat Singh
Central Jail, Lahore
This application was handed over to me
by Bhagat Singh at the Central Jail on the
22nd August 1930.
Sd/ Fatebuhan Reg(Not Clear)
(Spellings of the words are as written by
Bhagat Singh in his own handwriting.)
Jail Document-9
In the Court of the Special Tribunal
Lahore Conspiracy Case, Lahore
Crown VS. Sukhdev & Others
Charged under sections 302, 120B, 121,
121A etc. of I.P.C.
Most Respectfully Shweth:- 1. That the
petitioner has just been furnished with a
copy of the learned court regarding the
close [of] the prosecution evidence.
2. That since the accused-petitioner has
not been given any opportunity to interview the relatives and particularly his father, who is the only person interested in
his defence, he is not in a position to
engage any counsel or legal adviser, and
without whose help he cannot decide anything regarding such a delicate matter as
the defence.
3. That it is prayed that the court be
pleased to see if it is proper in these circumstances to deprive a man of all facilities of defence; and to do whatever is
thought proper to meet the ends of
justice.

D/26/8/30
Sd./ Bhagat Singh
Petitioner
Central Jail, Lahore
Seen by all the members of Tribunal.
Placed on record.
Sd. / d. 27/8/30
Jail Document-10
In the court of the Special Tribunal
Lahore Conspiracy case, Lahore
Crown VS. Sukhdev & others
Charged under sections 121, 121A, 302,
120B etc.
Most Respectfully Shweth:1. That yesterday on 29th August30 the
petitioner was informed by the jail authorities that orders have been received
from the local govt. to allow him interviews with the legal advisers, relatives and
co-accused for discussing and deciding finally about our defence in this case on
29th, 30th and 31st August 30.
2. That father of the petitioner who is at
Ludhiana standing his own trial, has been
sent for and is expected today.
3. That the petitioner shall have an interview with his co-accused tomorrow viz
31st August30.
4. That in the present circumstances,
the petitioner shall be able to decide about
his defence and will inform the court
about the same on Monday i.e. 1st September 1930.
5. That it is therefore prayed that the
learned court be pleased to postpone the
passing of any final orders on the question
of defence till Monday when the petitioner shall be in a position to inform the
court of his final decision regarding the
same.
D/30th Aug: 30
Sd./Bhagat Singh
Petitioner
No. 182-c D/ 30.8.30
Forwarded to the Registrar to the court
of Special Tribunal Lahore Conspiracy
case Lahore for favour of disposal.
Lahore Central Jail Sd./30.8.30 Supdt./
Central Jail
Jail Document-11
In the Court of the Special Magistrate,
Lahore
Crown Versus Sukhdev Etc.
It is submitted as follows:That on 21st [October, 1929] instant, an
unhappy incident occurred in the court.
While an approver named Jai Gopal was
giving his evidence standing in the dock,
he adopted such a provocative posture
that apart from twisting his moustaches,
he addressed the accused, Janab ye Sab ap
ke kartut Hai Sachchi Sachi Baten keh
raha hun [Sirs, these are all your misdeeds, telling the true incidents!]. In these
most provocative circumstances the
youngest of all the accused, Prem Dutt
[who was just 18 years at that time, born in
1911], got excited and threw a slipper at
the approver. All the accused disapproved
of his act and disassociated themselves
from it. They wanted to make a statement
in connection with that affair. But their
statement was not recorded. They then
submitted a joint statement. In spite of
their statement to that effect, orders were
passed against all the accused and all were
subjected to undergo humiliation for the
fault of one person, which was against the
principle of Justice.
Comrade Bijoy Kumar Sinha has already submitted a statement about what
happened in the Borstal Jail on 22nd instant. On the 23rd Bhagat Singh and B.K.
Dutt were brought to the gate of the court
by the Jail authorities. But the notice
wanted to handcuff them on both hands
which they refused. Then a large number
of policemen and a few sub-inspectors
and inspector pounced upon them. A few
sat on their bodies and others xxxxx (word
cancelled after writing) continued violently kicking and beating. These blows

were dealt mercilessly on their heads and


chests. Then both of them were dragged to
court-room.
They asked if the police officials were
acting under his orders and if he would
ask for explanation from their officials for
such brutal and illegal conduct. But no
attention was paid to these ...
The second page of this statement is not
found in the Supreme Court digital records. Many of the accused, including Bijoy Kumar Sinha and Kanwalnath Tiwari,
submitted written statements on police
brutalities after this incident to the court,
some of which were not recorded faithfully and were distorted by court officials.
This statement also seems to be part of
the same records, which was probably
submitted on behalf of Bhagat Singh and
B.K. Dutt. Most of the jail statements
were drafted by Bhagat Singh.
Jail Document-12
In the court of the Special Magistrate,
Lahore
Crown VS. Sukhdev & Others
Charged under sections 120B+302,
121A
The petitioners respectfully submit the
following:1. That majority of the petitioners have
been in confinement for the last nine
months in the above case and the rest
have been so confined for terms varying
from two to six months, and the case will
yet take a very long time.
2. That the charges against the petitioners are of a very serious nature.
3. That the petitioners are being deprived of the fundamental right of being
defended by a counsel as they are not
permitted to see their attorneys and
friends, a matter which the learned court
has delegated to the jail authorities who
have refused to allow their interview with
their attorneys and friends.
4. That although the police and other
officials are permitted to come freely into
the courtroom, the petitioners friends are
not even permitted to enter the court
room.
5. That the dock in which the petitioners are kept in the course of the inquiry is
always surrounded by police and jail officials and even those petitioners who are
represented by counsel feel handicapped
in communicating with and giving full instructions to them.
6. That an unprecedented practice of
keeping an assistant jailor and some jail
officials present always around the dock is
being daily pursued.
7. That the petitioners have been deprived of the right of having access to
newspapers which they need very badly in
connection with the defence.
8. That they are being persecuted and
punished by the jail authorities for matters which have occurred in the court.
9. That the petitioners are unable to
take legal steps in respect of the illegal
punishment inflicted on them and the illegal treatment meted out to them by the
jail authorities.
10. That definite complaints filed by
some of the petitioners in respect of the ill
treatment and assault by the police officials have not been attended to by the
authorities and while in custody the petitioners are unable to prosecute them
Here ends the first page of the petition.
The second and likely final page is not in
the digital records of the Supreme Court.
The second page may have just one or two
more submissions and comments of the
jail authorities, if at all, if they had forwarded the petition. The petition could be
dated Jan.-Feb. 1930, when trial was in
progress and when many unpleasant incidents took place in the course of the trial
by Special Magistrate Rai Saheb Pandit
Sri Kishan.
(Documents compiled by
Chaman Lal.)
...CH-CH