1. This is an application made by one Bhaurao Karbhari Aware for exercise of our powers under Section 491, Criminal P. C in relation to one Dagdu Vithal Zolekar, uncle of the applicant, who is under detention by order of the District Magistrate of Ahmednagar made under Section 2 (1), Bombay Public Security Measures Act, 1947.
2. The order detaining the detenu has been made by the District Magistrate of Ahmednagar on 24th March 1949. The material part of the order is as follows :
'And whereas I, R. C. Joshi, Esquire I. C. S., District Magistrate, Ahmednagar, am notified that the said Dagdu Vithal Zolekar is likely to act in a manner prejudicial to the public safety of Akola town and other villages in Akola Taluka, District Ahmednagar.'
'Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the said Act, I hereby direct that the said Dagdu Vithal Zolekar be detained.'
Later, on 8th April 1949, the District Magistrate furnished to the detenu what is stated to be the ground on which the order of detention was made, and this ground is expressed in the following terms:
'You are likely to act in a manner prejudicial to the public safety of Akola Taluka by inciting ignorant people to resort to criminal activities against landlords and big savkars and to loot and drive away the Gujerati savkars and to take forcible possession of their lands.'
'I am satisfied that your activities, if uncontrolled, will constitute danger to the public peace.'
3. It is well settled that our powers to interfere with detention orders made under the Bombay Public Security Measures Act, 1947, are limited, and are confined to cases where it appears that the detaining authority has not properly applied its mind to the question as to whether the detention of the person is or is not justified under the Act. It is also true that under the Act, as it now is, it is not compulsory for the detaining authority to furnish to the detenu a statement of the ground or grounds upon which the order of detention has been made. When, however, grounds have been furnished, and I assume that grounds are furnished in all cases except where the public interest forbids, then it is permissible for us to consider the statement of those grounds together with the order made; and, if the statement of grounds does shew that the detaining authority has not properly applied its mind to the question of detention, then we have jurisdiction to interfere and direct that the detenu be released. The learned Government Pleader has claimed that mere vagueness in the grounds furnished, provided those grounds are within the ambit of the Public Security Measures Act, is not sufficient to justify the conclusion that the detaining authority has not acted with proper care and due application of its mind to the facts of the case, and, he relies on a decision of the Full Bench in In re, Rajdhar Kalu Patil 50 Bom. L. R. 183 : A. I. R. 1948 Bom. 334 : 49 or. L. J. 466. That was a case where several grounds were furnished, some of which could be challenged as vague, but some of which were precise. It was held that when there are several grounds given, some of which are good and some bad, the whole order is notvitiated; there is a sharp distinction between a ground which is outside the purview of the statute and a ground which is bad because it lacks precision and accuracy. In the latter case the ground has to be completely ignored as if no ground was furnished at all; and if the grounds which are no grounds at all, inasmuch as no precise information was furnished to the detenu, are eliminated, and there still remain a ground or grounds which are precise and accurate and which can justify the order, then the order made by the detaining authority must stand.
4. Apart from authority, I should myself have been inclined to think that any vagueness in the grounds furnished was evidence of vagueness of the mind of the detaining authority, which might be sufficient, notwithstanding that some one or more grounds were stated precisely, to justify the conclusion that there was no proper application of the mind of the detaining authority to the facts of the case. We are, however, bound by the view taken by the Full Bench. But in the present instance we do not think that that view assists to preserve the order of detention which has been made. The expression 'ignorant people' seems to us an expression of such vagueness that any ground asserting likely action on the part of the detenu in respect of ignorant people is bad for want of precision, and shews that the detaining authority cannot have considered properly the facts or evidence placed before it on which this ground is based. It may be said that the allegation of incitement, to loot and drive away the Gujarati savkars and to take forcible possession of their lands is precise enough, but this incitement, as the other less precise incitements mentioned in the ground, relates to the indefinite ignorant people mentioned by the District Magistrate. We think therefore that this is not a case where one or more grounds can be said to be precise. In the words of the Full Bench, after eliminating the grounds which are no grounds at all, inasmuch as they furnish no precise information to the detenu, there remains no ground at all, and, that being so, we consider that the order was not passed after proper consideration, and that we must interfere.
5. We therefore make the rule absolute, and direct that the detenu be released.