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Pradip Das Vs. District Magistrate and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject;Criminal
CourtGuwahati High Court
Decided On
Judge
AppellantPradip Das
RespondentDistrict Magistrate and anr.
Excerpt:
- - 1. preventive detention laws have been supported on the score that 'malignant diseases call for drastic remedies'.but what curative method is taken when a young person pines 'in bastille'.it is true that under certain circumstances, detention is essential for the security of the state, to maintain public order as well as to maintain supplies and services essential to the community. young persons do not have much time to think in terms of ultimate good or bad. the learned counsel for the detenu urged several points, however, we are satisfied that there is no ground for detaining the petitioner under the head maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community. prasad, the learned government advocate has failed to produce the either......the road transport and the railway).we consider it to be unnecessary to reiterate what is a vague ground. the safeguards to a detenu under the umbrella of articles 22(5) and 21 of the constitution read with the preventive detention law are procedural no doubt but they are mandatory in character. the procedural safeguards guaranteed must not be illusory, artificial or fanciful. what are the date and time of the alleged activities set forth in the said grounds when did they happen what were the impacts is there any particulars it appears more or less a conclusion or inference drawn from certain basic facts — they are not basic facts. assuming that these are the basic facts, which we have every reason to doubt no material particular has been furnished to the petitioner.....
Judgment:

K. Lahiri, J.

1. Preventive detention laws have been supported on the score that 'malignant diseases call for drastic remedies'. But what curative method is taken when a young person pines 'in bastille'. It is true that under certain circumstances, detention is essential for the security of the State, to maintain public order as well as to maintain supplies and services essential to the community. The persons are detained so that they may not stand in the way of the security of the State/ Public order/maintenance of supplies and services. But it is a detention without trial and based exclusively on the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority. The detenus invariably brood within the four corners of the jail walls and say that 'justice' was denied to them. The detention laws have been made by parliament and it is a valid law and we must render our judgment 'in accordance with law'. But Judges have responsibilities to the society, to the State and to the future generation. A class is created as a result of detentions members of their families feel the impact of detention. But what 'curative methods' are provided in the Act insofar as the detenus are concerned Has the law made any provision for chasing the wayward lifestyle ot a detenu? Experience shows that on release a detenu becomes a hero. More often than not he along with his family members comes out openly to act against any form of Government established by law. It is perhaps not our concern, but we have just expressed our feelings as to what will happen when a large number of persons detained would come out of iail and form a class. They might be potential dan-fier to the society. There must be check and balance. The extreme power of detention must be exercised in extreme cases. It should not be used as a soft handle to detain all and sundry. Youth is restless. It is the virtue of the young men that they can surge forward to set right every wrongs—it is the law of nature. To achieve the ob~ pect, namely, to right the wrong sometimes young people use wrong weapons or consider a person or body as enemy under wrong impression. When a taught is told by his teacher not to do a certain thing the teacher becomes the enemy of the taught. Youth does not know wasting time. Young persons do not have much time to think in terms of ultimate good or bad. They push forward and sometimes overstep. A welfare State must be a welfare State and take curative measure rather than penal action in the name of preventive law. There is revolt in every sphere of activities and it has become the order of the day—call it a white revolution, green revolution or cultural revolution or as a matter of that by any name. We feel that some form of curative measures need be found out by the law makers to cure the wayward minds. We say this far and no further.

2. The detenu is a yours person, aged hardly 23 years. He has been detained in order to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order/for the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community. He was furnished with the grounds. The learned Counsel for the detenu urged several points, however, we are satisfied that there is no ground for detaining the petitioner under the head maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community. The only material which touches 'the supplies and services is in para 2 of the grounds, which reads as follows :

He has been closely associating himself with the current agitation since the very beginning. He is one of the principal organisers of picketing of offices, banks etc. bundh' etc. at Dhekiaiuli from time to time, during the past year. Such picketing and Bundh have not only been disturbing public order but also disturbing supply and services essential to the community (including the road transport and the railway).

We consider it to be unnecessary to reiterate what is a vague ground. The safeguards to a detenu under the umbrella of Articles 22(5) and 21 of the Constitution read with the preventive detention law are procedural no doubt but they are mandatory in character. The procedural safeguards guaranteed must not be illusory, artificial or fanciful. What are the date and time of the alleged activities set forth in the said grounds When did they happen What were the impacts Is there any particulars It appears more or less a conclusion or inference drawn from certain basic facts — they are not basic facts. Assuming that these are the basic facts, which we have every reason to doubt no material particular has been furnished to the petitioner regarding these so-called basic facts. It appears to us a clear case of inference drawn from certain materials which are not before us nor were they furnished to the detenu and perhaps were not before the detaining authority. Is it not denial of the fundamental right of making a representation under Article 22(5) of the Constitution We have no hesitation in arriving at the conclusion that the petitioner's fundamental right under Article 22(5) was denied for non-furnishing of any material particulars and/ or basic facts or basic materials. The ground is vague. The order of detention must fall through. The first ground in para 1 reads as follows :

Shri Pradip Das, aged about 23 years, s/o Shri Bharat Das of village Sirajuli, P. S. Dhekiajuli, district Dar-rang, is the Secretary of Sirajuli Unit of the Chatra Santha (AASU). He is also the Nayak of the Sirajuli Unit of Volunteer Corps.

We have not been able to fathom how to become an office bearer of AASU can be a ground for detention and how his acting as a Nayak in the Volunteer Corps endangered public order. No particulars have been furnished in respect of the said grounds. It has no connection with public order. Accordingly, we hold that the ground is not only vague but irrelevant, para 4 of the grounds speaks about his arrest on 9-8-1980 in connection with a murder case which happened m June, 1980. Mr. P. Prasad, the learned Government Advocate has failed to produce the either. It has not been produced to show thane was an accused nor was the eiahar furnished to the detenu. The next ground is as follows ;

His activities have been creating a communal tension in Dhekiaiuli area resulting in a number of communal incidents of violence affecting public order.

This is also an independent activity of the detenu for detaining him perhaps to prevent him and to maintain public order. We do not get any answer to the questions as to where, when and how the incidents took place. It is vague to the extreme. Therefore, we hold that the aforesaid grounds are vague and irrelevant. To say that the other grounds, which still remain, are quite sufficient to sustain the order of detention would be to substitute an objective judicial test for the subjective decision of the Executive authority which is against the legislative policy. In such circumstances if one of these grounds was irrelevant for 'the purpose' of the Act or was vague or illusory the entire order of detention would be vitiated.

3. Under these circumstances, we are constrained to hold that the order of detention is void and further detention of the petitioner is invalid. Accordingly, we make the rule absolute, allow the petition and direct that the petitioner be released forthwith unless he is wanted in connection with any other case.


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