L.P. Singh, J.
1. Gajendra Singh petitioner (hereinafter referred to as the detenu) has filed this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, challenging the validity of the order dt. 27-9-1984, passed by District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, under Section 3(2) of the National Security Act, 1980 ( No. 65 of 1980) hereinafter referred to as the Act detaining the detenu with a view to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
2. The detenu had been arrested on 26-9-83, when he was undergoing treatment in a hospital at Gorakhpur. The said detention order was served on him on 27-9-84 in District Jail, Gorakhpur. The grounds of the detention were also served on him along with the detention order. The said grounds are three in number, translated in English they are as follows : --
i. That on 22-7-83 in the night at about 12.00, the detenu along with Tikori Singh and Surendra Singh residents of Kalesar, P. S. Sahjanwa, District Gorakhpur, and 6 to 7 others armed with guns, kattas and pistols, raided the house of one Lallan Singh resident of village Mallipar, P. S. Sahjanwa and committed murders of Ravindra Nath Singh, Lallan Singh, Shesh Nath Singh and Amar Nath Singh, Nagendra Singh and Dhyanendra Singh had received injuries. With respect to this incident case crime No. 128/83, under Sections 147/148/149/302/452/323, I.P.C. was registered at P. S. Sahjanwa. It was investigated and charge-sheet was submitted and Sessions Trial was pending in the Court of District Judge, Gorakhpur.
ii. On 26-9-83, the detenu along with his companion Gurmukh Singh arrived in Mohalla Railway Colony, P. S, Shahpur, Distt. Gorakhpur in a Car No. P.N.D.1368 for committing some heinous offence at about 8.45 p.m. On receiving information about this fact, S.O. Sri Rama Shanker Dube accompanied with Sri Shailendra Nath Ghoshal and R.K. Singh, S. I. reached there and surrounded the said Car. It was being driven by the detenu. On seeing the police party the detenu tried to run away. Finding himself surrounded by the police party, he threw a bomb upon the police party and made good his escape. However, his companion Gurmukh Singh was arrested at the spot. The car was also seized. The detenu got himself admitted in the District Hospital, Gorakhpur under an alias name Paras. The police identified him later on and arrested him there same night. The report of the incident was lodged by Sri R.K. Singh, S.I. at P. S. Shahpur, Gorakhpur. It was registered as a case crime No. 227/83 under Section 307, I.P.C. and crime case No. 228/83 under Section 5 of the Explosives Act It was further mentioned that after investigation, charge-sheet was submitted and the Sessions trial was pending before VII Additional Sessions Judge, Gorakhpur.
iii) On 21-7-84, the detenu sent one threatening letter to one Mr. Paul of Paul Agency, Sumer Sagar, Gorakhpur that he should come with Rs. 25,000/- to Vishnu Mandi and hand over the same to the detenu's man. It also contained the threat that if the matter would be reported to the police, then he would lose his life. It is further mentioned that another letter of similar nature was sent by the detenu to one Sri Roopchand Maurya, r/o. Asuran Chauk, district Gorakhpur.
3. It is further mentioned that on the basis of the threatening letter addressed to Mr. Paul, Sri Jogendra Paul Singh asked for an armed shadow, upon which the police provided armed shadow to him. It is further stated that these threatening letters had created a terror wave in the business community of Gorakhpur.
4. The learned Counsel for the petitioner (detenu) has challenged the validity of detention order on the plea that none of these three grounds could be said to have disturbed public order. At the most, there could be problem of law and order.
5. The law on the subject is now well settled that the act itself is not determinate of its gravity. It is the potentiality and its reach upon the society that matters. It is the length, magnitude and intensity of the terror wave unleashed by a particular corruption of disorder that helps distinguishing it as an act affecting public order from that concerning law and order. It is the impact of the detenu's activity upon the local community and it is to be seen whether the said activity has the effect on the normal flow of the life of the community in the locality. It is the potentiality of the act to disturb the even tempo of life of the community, which makes it prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
6. Viewed in the light of the above principle of law on the point, we are of the opinion that ground No. 1 which concerns murders and causing of injuries inside the house of Lallan Singh deceased in the dead of night, only relates to a problem of law and orders and not of public order. It does not have the potentiality of disturbing the even tempo of the life of the community or normal flow of life in the locality. Similarly third ground, which deals with the subject of sending letters demanding ransom from two individuals in our opinion is not in the realm of disturbance of public order. They are letters addressed to individuals and might propose a problem of law and order. These letters do not have the potentiality of disturbing the even tempo of the life of the community, nor they had the potentiality of unleashing any terror wave in the locality.
7. Ground No. 2 involves throwing of a bomb on the Police party, who are supposed to be custodians of law and order as well as public order. This activity of the detenu would certainly be an activity prejudicial to the maintenance of the public order and as such could afford a reasonable ground for subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority in passing the detention order. This contention of the learned Counsel for the detenu therefore, has no force.
8. However, learned Counsel for the detenu, dilating upon the same ground, has challenged it by a different approach. It is argued that the detaining authority while considering this ground did not apply its mind and was also influenced by a material, which did not exist. It is explained that the said ground mentions that said activity was reported to the police on the basis of which two crime cases No. 227/83, under Section 307, I.P.C. and crime case No. 228/83, under Section 5 of the Explosives Act, were registered. It is mentioned therein that after the investigation the charge-sheet was submitted against the detenu about which Sessions Trial was pending in the court of VII Addl. Sessions Judge, Gorakhpur. However, in the counter-affidavit the District Magistrate concerned has admitted that the charge-sheet with respect to crime No. 227/83 under Section 307, I.P.C. alone was submitted. He admitted that no charge-sheet was submitted in crime case No. 228/83, regarding offence under Explosives Act 1884. It is further explained in his counter-affidavit that in fact, offence committed appears to be under Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and not under Section 5 of Explosives Act. The fact that no charge-sheet was submitted lends support to the submission made on behalf of the detenu that the police had submitted final report regarding the said offence under Explosive Substances Act or Explosives Act.
9. The learned Counsel for the detenu further argued that if final report was submitted for the offence under the Explosive Substances Act or the Explosives Act, which was directly concerned with the activity in question then it follows that perhaps the activity had not taken place and in this view of the matter ground No. 2 became non-existent. We find much force in this argument.
10. At any rate, it appears that while passing the detention order in question, the detaining authority had taken it as a fact that charge-sheet with respect to crime case No. 228/83 was also submitted. No doubt, in his counter-affidavit he has explained that while dealing with ground No. 2 of detention he had simply mentioned that a charge-sheet (in singular) was submitted. He explained that as he had not used the word charge-sheet in plural so he clearly meant that only one charge-sheet was submitted. But apparently, words employed in ground No. 2 do not vividly draw this distinciton and one can have a reasonable impression that at that time he laboured under an impression that charge-sheets in both the crime cases had been submitted. At least this possibility cannot be ruled out. If it was so, it clearly shows a case where there was no application of mind in passing the detention order.
11. It appears to us that the detaining authority had admitted into consideration the facts, which did not really exist. In this way he was apparently influenced by non-existent matter. This renders the detention order invalid. The continued detention of the detenu under the said detention order also becomes invalid. No other point was seriously pressed by the learned Counsel for the detenu.
12. In the result, the present habeas corpus writ petition is allowed. The respondents are directed not to detain any more Gajendra Singh petitioner in pursuance of the detention order dt. 27-9-1984 passed by District Magistrate Gorakhpur. However, it is made clear that the order passed by us today will not entitle the detenu to be physically released if he is to be detained under the authority of any other lawful order or is wanted otherwise.