§ SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the sedition case recently tried at Tinnevelly, in the South of India, in which Subramania Siva has been sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment and Chidambaram Pillay to transportation for life; whether he can state what the specific charges were in this case and by what Court the offenders were tried, and whether any appeal will lie to a higher Court.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BUCHANAN,) Perthshire, E.
The Government of India reported that the proceedings in question were instituted under Sections 124(a) and 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code, and that the result of the trial was as stated, except that the punishment was transportation in both cases. The charges are understood to have had reference to speeches in February and March last which preceded the serious rioting at Tuticorin and Tinnevelly. The case was tried before the Sessions Judge at Tinnevelly; an appeal lies to the High Court at Madras.
§ SIR H. COTTON
Is it not the fact that in one case the charge was sedition, and in the other merely abetment?
§ MR. BUCHANAN
I have given all the information we have received from the Government of India, and the hon. Member will probably be able to ascertain for himself whether it corresponds with the facts.
§ SIR H. COTTON
asked if the Judge who tried the case was not assisted by two assessors, one European and one native, and whether, while the European found the accused guilty, the Indian assessor found them not guilty.
§ *MR. KEIR HARDIE
Is it not the fact that the riots had their origin in an attempt to boycott the Swadeshi Steamship Company and had nothing whatever to do with sedition or with the Government of India?