1. This petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution has been filed by one Rashid Hassanmiya Khandeshi, who has been detained under the provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act. After he was detained, the Competent Authority appointed under the provisions of the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976, hereinafter referred to as 'the Act', served on him a notice under Section 6 (1) of the said Act. The Competent Authority in that notice stated that he had reason to believe that the property described in the schedule enclosed with the notice which were held by the detenu for or on his behalf were illegally acquired properties within the meaning of Clause (c) of Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Act, and called upon the detenu to Indicate to him within 35 days of the service of the notice on him the sources of his income, earnings or assets, out of which or by means of which he had acquired the aforesaid properties, the evidence on which he relied and other relevant Information and particulars and also to show cause why the properties should not be declared to be illegally acquired properties and forfeited to the Central Government under the Act, After receipt of the show cause notice on April 29, 1976, the detenu submitted his reply giving some Information of the impugned acquisitions. In his reply he stated that he had documentary proof and evidence to show that the properties in question were acquired by him in a legal manner and the source of their acquisition was never an income from smuggling activities. In view of the fact that he was under detention, he has requested that he should be given permission to go home to collect and produce the evidence, By his letter dated Sept. 23, 1976, the Inspecting Officer working In the office of the Competent Authority Informed the detenu that It will not be possible for the Competent Authority to permit him to go home and collect evidence as requested by him. It was, however, stated in the letter that he would be given a personal hearing at the proper time, and he was advised to consult his legal advisers and file a written reply in continuation of his earlier explanation. The detenu has, therefore, filed this petition praying that the proceedings started against him by the Competent Authority be stayed till his release from jail. In the alternative, he has prayed that he should be given a reasonable time and opportunity of personally collecting all the evidence that would be required to prove his case.
2. We do not think that the request for stay of proceeding till the release of the detenu can be granted. However, his request for the necessary facilities being afforded to him to collect his evidence seems to us to be reasonable and needs to be granted In the interest of justice. In the affidavit in reply, the Inspecting Officer has stated that the detenu will be given reasonable opportunity to put forth his case before the Competent Authority in Jail and he will also be allowed to be represented by his legal adviser at the time of the hearing, He has further stated that the State Government has been requested by the Central Government to provide the necessary facilities to the detenu for having discussions with their legal advisers In the Jail for the purpose of presenting their cases under the Act. It is obvious that the mere facility of having discussions with the legal advisers In the jail for the purpose of presenting the detenu's case will not be adequate. The detenu will have to produce documentary evidence in support of his contention and for that purpose, he will have to inspect his own records relating to the title deeds of the property as well as regarding the sources of his income and the source of the consideration for the purchase deeds. For that purpose, it would be necessary that ha should have access to his own records.
3. Mr. Kotwal, the learned Assistant Government Pleader, stated before us that if the detenu indicates the places where he has kept his records, necessary arrangements will be made for making the said record available to him for producing the same before the Competent Authority.
4. In view of the statement made by Mr. Kotwal, it is not necessary for us to issue a direction as prayed for by the petitioner. The petition, therefore, does not survive,
5. We, however, make it clear that It would be open to the detenu, in case the facilities afforded to him as a result of the statement made are ultimately found to be inadequate by him, he may, if so advised, take such legal steps as deem fit and proper,
6. Rule discharged.