A hundred years ago October 22, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (October 22, 1921): Yakub Hasan arrested

Mr. Yakub Hasan was arrested in Madras yesterday evening and taken to Tanjore for trial for offences alleged to have been committed by him in his speech delivered, it is said, as President of the Provincial Conference. Before the Khilafat question came into prominence, Mr. Yakub Hasan was a Moderate in politics and was a member of the Madras Liberal League. We do not know what exactly are the expressions in his speeches on which a prosecution for the offences of sedition and class hatred has been launched. Prosecutions of offences of this description cannot be instituted except with the sanction of the Governor in Council. The last mentioned requirement is based or ought to be upon well considered legal opinion. In the discussion in the Imperial Legislative Council where the scope of the offence of sedition was enlarged, Sir Harold Stuart who was then Home Secretary said that the fact that the previous sanction of the Local Government was required for the initiation of prosecutions was an ample safeguard against Executive officers light-heartedly embarking upon them. This optimistic forecast has been greatly belied by the astonishing facility with which legal opinion has been found some times to sustain obviously fatuous prosecutions of which the Executive Government has been ready to avail itself.

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