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Rajendra Prasad Vs. State of U.P. and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1981CriLJ946
AppellantRajendra Prasad
RespondentState of U.P. and anr.
Cases ReferredGora v. State of West Bengal
Excerpt:
- - the order dated 19th september, 1980 states that since the government was satisfied that with a view to preventing him from keeping smuggled goods it was necessary to do so he was being detained under section 3(1)(iii) of the act. it was stated that on the basis of the two grounds mentioned above the government was satisfied that the petitioner was likely to keep smuggled goods and it was necessary to. reasonably satisfied that it was necessary to order the detention -of the petitioner with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supply and services essential to the community. 1972 held that on the facts of the case the district magistrate could not have been possibly satisfied about the necessity of his detention on the 22nd march, 1972.....yashoda nandan, j.1. as a consequence of an order passed on the 19th september. 1980 by the secretary of u.p. government, confidential department in the name of governor of the state the petitioner is under detention under section 3(1) of the conservation of foreign exchange and prevention of smuggling activities act 1974, hereinafter referred to as the act. he was taken in custody on the 24th september, 1980 and was immediately served with a copy of grounds on which his detention had been recorded. his detention having been confirmed by the state government and the representation made by him having been rejected by the advisory board constituted under section 8 of the act he has filed this petition praying for quashing the order by which he has been detained and for a writ of habeas.....
Judgment:

Yashoda Nandan, J.

1. As a consequence of an order passed on the 19th September. 1980 by the Secretary of U.P. Government, Confidential Department in the name of Governor of the State the petitioner is under detention under Section 3(1) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act 1974, hereinafter referred to as the Act. He was taken in custody on the 24th September, 1980 and was immediately served with a copy of grounds on which his detention had been recorded. His detention having been confirmed by the State Government and the representation made by him having been rejected by the Advisory Board constituted under Section 8 of the Act he has filed this petition praying for quashing the order by which he has been detained and for a writ of Habeas Corpus directing his release from detention. He is at present lodged in the Central Jail, Bareilly.

2. The material facts which need to be set out for a proper appreciation of the contention raised in support of the petition are that on the 4th February,1980 Central Excise Officers of Gold and Preventive Branch, Varanasi, carried out a raid on the business premises of the petitioner who is a dealer in electrical goods and carried on business in the name and style of M/s. Maharaja Electric Company, mohalla Senpura, Varanasi and admittedly found three packages lying in front of M/s. Maharaja Electric Company ready for removal on a rickshaw. The packages were seized and were found to contain 200 pieces of one variety of electrical goods manufactured in Germany and 870 pieces of another item also manufactured in Germany. Admittedly the petitioner was not in possession of any import licence or any receipt showing payment of customs duty. The petitioner states that he was taken in custody by the officers who had conducted the raid and was compelled to give a statement in writing under coercion. A notice dated 26th July, 1980 was served on the petitioner requiring him to show cause to the Additional Collector of Customs as to why the seized goods should not be confiscated under Section 111(d) of the Customs Act. 1962 and why a penalty should not be imposed upon him under Section 112 of that Act. The order dated 19th September, 1980 states that since the Government was satisfied that with a view to preventing him from keeping smuggled goods it was necessary to do so he was being detained under Section 3(1)(iii) of the Act. According to the ground served on the petitioner on a search of his business premises on the 4th February, 1980 by the Officers of the Central Excise Department of Varanasi Region, 270 pieces of imported electrical goods had been recovered therefrom which were valued at a sum of Rs. 1,85,750/-. It was stated that the petitioner possessed no permit or licence for importing, the goods seized from his business premises. The second ground as disclosed was that before the authorities of the Customs department by means of a written explanation dated 4th February, 1980 the petitioner had admitted that he was neither in possession of any licence for importing the foreign goods recovered from his possession nor had any customs duty been paid thereon. It was stated that on the basis of the two grounds mentioned above the Government was satisfied that the petitioner was likely to keep smuggled goods and it was necessary to. detain him to prevent him from doing so.

3. Learned counsel appearing for the detenu firstly contended that since in dealing with the representation made by him there had been undue delay on the part of the Government, there had been violation of the requirement of Article 22(5) of the Constitution and consequently his detention was liable to be set aside. In support of his contention learned Counsel placed reliance on a decision of the Supreme Court in Saleh Mohammad v. Union of India : 1980CriLJ1496 . The decision above mentioned in our opinion has no relevance on the facts of this particular case, The petitioner before the Supreme Court, Saleh Mohammad was arrested on the 21st January, 1980 on the basis of the; order of detention dated 18th Jaanuary. 1980 passed under Section 3 of the Act. The detention order (sic) and the 23rd January, 1980 in the jail. On the 20th February. 1980 the petitioner made a representation before the detaining' authority through the Superintendent of Jail where he was lodged. The representation made by the petitioner was rejected by the State Government on the 26th March. 1980. The Supreme Court while allowing the petition filed by Saleh Mohammad under Article 32 of the Constitution noticed that the. representation submitted by the detenu; through the Superintendent of Jail on the 20th February, 1980 remained lying at the office of Inspector General of Prisons unattended for 22 days and this inordinate, unreasonable and un-warranted delay amounted to a viola-tion of Article 22(5) which guarantees to the detenu a right to have his representation considered with reasonable expedition. It may be noticed here that Saleh Mohammad's representation dated 20th February, 1980 was rejected by the State Government after the delay of nearly five weeks. From the record produced by the State counsel before us it appears that the first representation was made by the petitioner on the 29th September. 1980 and it was received by the State Government on the 3rd October, 1980. On the same date the comments of the Collector. of Customs, Gorakhpur were called for by the Government by the 8th October 1980. The comments of the Collector of Customs on the representation made by the petitioner were received by the Government on the 9th October, 1980. This representation after obtaining the approval of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh was rejected by the State Government on the 17th October, 1980. In the meanwhile a second representation dated 29th September, 1980 itself was received by the Government on the 15th October, 1980, On the second representation the Government again sent for the comments of the Collector of Customs. Gorakhpur by 21st October, 1980. The comments of the Collector of Customs were received by the Government on the second representation made by the petitioner on 21st October, I960,. On the 22nd October, 1980 the second representation of the petitioner was also rejected after the approval of the Chief Minister had been obtained. That the State Government had rejected both the representations made by the petitioner was communicated to the petitioner through the Superintendent of the Jail, Bareilly on the 23rd October, 1980. It is thus clear that even the rejection of the first representation made by the petitioner was communicated to him within merely three weeks. Neither of the two representations can consequently be characterised as having been decided after inordinate delay and the contention that there had been a violation of Article 22(5) of the Constitution is in our opinion meritless.

4. It was next contended by the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner that the object of preventive detention under the Act is to prevent a detenu from continuing with antisocial activities of the type contemplated by the Act in future. According to the grounds furnished to the petitioner it was on the 4th February. 1980 that he had been found keeping smuggled goods. The order of his detention was passed as late as on the 19th September, 1980 after the lapse of about seven months. It was brought to our notice that in paragraph 21 of the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the State it had been admitted that though the activities of the detenu were kept under watch throughout the period after the 4th February, 1980 no Offending activities on his part came to light. It was urged that consequently the order for the petitioner's detention had been passed in a mechanical manner without the Government applying its mind to the question as to whether the petitioner was in future likely to engage in activities of the type in which he had been found to be involved when the raid was conducted on the 4th February, 1980. The inordinate time lag between the recovery of smuggled goods from the petitioner's possession and the date on which his detention was passed under Section 3(1)(iii) of the Act left no room for doubt that the order had been passed in disregard of the objects of the Act and was consequently liable to the interfered with.

5. In support of his contention learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner placed reliance on the decision of the Supreme Court in Lakshman Khatik v. State of West Bengal : 1974CriLJ936 . Lakshman Khatik by means of the petition before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution challenged the validity of the order passed by the District Magistrate, Howrah dated 22nd March 1972 under Sub-section (1) and Sub-section (2) of Section 3 of Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 (Act No. 26 1971). There were three grounds on which the order under challenge before the Supreme Court was passed. The first of the three grounds was to the effect that on the 3rd August, 1971 Lakshman Khatik along with his associates was found to have unloaded five bags of rice from a lorry on Netaji Subhas Road within the jurisdiction of Howrah Police to the retailers. The second ground disclosed that the detenu on the 5th August, 1971 along with his associates had assembled in front of Allahabad Bank at Howrah and had removed 1090 kgs, and 1065 kgs. of the rice respectively from a lorry loaded with rice on Food Corporation of India's Account. According to ground No. 3 on the 20th August. 1971 the petitioner and his associates had removed 690 Kgs. of rice from a lorry loaded with 110 bags of rice on Food Corporation of India's Account. It was stated that the activities mentioned in the order were highly prejudicial in the interest of maintenance of proper supply and service of essential commodities to the community. One of the grounds urged before the Supreme Court was that it did not appear that the District Magistrate could have been in the circumstances of the case. reasonably satisfied that it was necessary to order the detention -of the petitioner with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supply and services essential to the community. The Supreme Court after noticing that the three incidents in which the petitioner was alleged to have participated had taken place in the month of August, 1971 while the order of his detention was passed nearly seven months later on the 22nd March. 1972 held that on the facts of the case the District Magistrate could not have been possibly satisfied about the necessity of his detention on the 22nd March, 1972 having regard to the detenu's conduct some seven months earlier. Heavily relvine on the decision the learned Counsel contended that the activities of the petitioner as far back as 4th February. 1980 could not reasonably have led to the inference that he was in future likely to keep smuggled goods in his possesnion especially in view of the fact that during the intervening period no offending activities had been noticed on the part of the petitioner even though he had been kept under watch. While allowing the writ petition. the Supreme Court observed that 'Indeed mere delay in passing a detention order is not conclusive, but we have to see the type of grounds given and consider whether such grounds could really weigh with an officer some seven months later in comma to the conclusion that it was necessary to detain the petitioner to prevent him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of essential supplies of foodgrains. It is not explained why there was such a long delay in passing the order. The District Magistrate appears almost to have passed an order of conviction and sentence for offences committed about seven months earlier.' This decision of the Supreme Court has been the subject matter of consideration by that Court in subsequent, cases to which we shall refer presently. It may be noticed here that in this case also it was observed by the Supreme Court that the mere fact that there had been delay in passing an order of detention does not justify its being set aside.

6. The learned Counsel next placed reliance on a decision of the Supreme Court in Smt. ReKhaben Virendra Kapadia v. State of Guiarat : 1979CriLJ212 . A close analysis of the decision discloses that this judgment is no authority for the proposition in support of which it has been relied upon. The material facts giving rise to the above mentioned decision were that the appellant's husband Virendra Ramniklal Kapadia was detained by means of an order dated 22nd September, 1974 passed by the District Magistrate, Surat, under Section 3(1)(c)(i) and Section 3(2) of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 hereinafter referred to as the Security Act. This order was cancelled on the 9th December. 1974 and the detenu was released. On the 7th Feb. 1977 by an order under Section 3(1) of the Act passed in the name of the Governor, the Under Secretary to the Government, directed that it was necessary to detain him with a view to pre-venting him from engaging in transporting smuggled goods. The grounds of detention were supplied to him on the 6th July, 1977. On the 2nd August, 1977, a declaration under Section 9 of the Act was made by the 4th respondent. The detention of the detenu was challenged before the High Court, which negatived all the contentions raised and dismissed the petition. Before the Supreme Court inter alia it was contended that the order passed under Section 9 was bad because on the face of it, it disclosed that the satisfaction arrived at by respondent No. 4 was mechanical and had been passed without application of his mind. The detenu had been released on the 19th December. 1974 and from that date till the 7th February, 1977 when the order of detention was passed, nothing had been disclosed to implicate the detenu in any fresh , activity. The relevant part of the order under Section 9(1) under consideration before the Supreme Court was in the following terms -

Whereas Virendra Ramniklal Kapadia alias Kumar has been detained on 4th July, 1977 in pursuance of order No. 6 SB IV/PSA. 2876.87 (i) dated the 7th Feb. 1977 of the Government of Gujarat with a view to preventing him from engaging in transporting smuggled goods.

And whereas I, the undersigned, specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government have carefully considered the material bearing on the matter in my possession.

Now, therefore, I, the Undersigned, specially empowered by the Central Government hereby declare that I am satisfied that the aforesaid Virendra Ramniklal Kapadia alias Kumar engages and is likely to engage in transporting smuggled goods in the area around Baleshwar and Sachin-Gabheni Road in the State of Gujarat, which are areas highly vulnerable to smuggling as defined in explanation to Section 9(1) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act. 1974.

It may be noted that respondent No. 4 declared that he was satisfied that the detenu engages and is likely to engage in transporting smuggled goods. It was urged that there was no material on record on which the 4th respondent could have been satisfied that the detenu 'engages and is likely to engage in transporting smuggled goods.' The impugned order passed under Section 9 referred to the order of detention dated 7th February, 1977 of the Government of Gujarat. The grounds that were alleged against the detenu in paragraph 1 of the order were as follows -

1. As per the intelligence gathered by the Customs Officers, you were an associate of a notorious smuggler Mohan Kutchi of Surat; that you were engaged in piloting smuggled goods loaded in trucks from the place of landing to the place of storage.

(underlining ours).

7. Two incidents were mentioned:- one relating to an incident on 6th August, 1974 and the other to an incident on 25th August. 1974. It was further stated that the Customs Officers contacted one Kantilal Amratlal Thakkar. who was working as accountant of Mohmed Kutchi. Kantilal Amratlal Thakkar in his. statement on 7th Nov. 1976 stated that the detenu was under the employment of the aforesaid Mohmed Kutchi and was getting a salary of Rupees 5,000/- per month for arranging landing of contraband goods. Kantilal further disclosed that in the year 1973 the detenu had accompanied one Mohmad Bilal with foreign currency. Reference was also made to the statements recorded from one Mohmad Bilal Haji Usmangani on 8th November, 1976 and 9th November, 1976 before the Customs Officers wherein it was stated that the detenu was one of the trusted men of the aforesaid Mohmed Kutchi and always remained with him and used to help Mohmad Kutchi in managing his smuggling activities. It was observed by the. Supreme Court that prima facie it appeared that the information which the Customs Authorities received related to the activities of the detenu in 1973 and 1974. The learned Judges who decided the case examined the statements of the above mentioned persons and recorded the opinion that they did not relate to any incidents after 1974 but only to the activities of the detenu in 1973 and 1974. The High Court in its judgment had held while dismissing the petition that it could not be urged that reasonable nexus between the prejudicial activities and the purpose of detention had been snapped by the time lag rendering the impugned order of detention as one without genuine satisfaction of the detaining authority. The Supreme Court observed that 'Whether the time-lag between August, 1974 and February, 1977 is enough to snap the reasonable nexus between the prejudicial activity and the purpose of detention would depend upon the facts of the case. It may be that a person in the position of a detenu who was a driver of a well known smuggler on a pay of Rs. 5,000/- per month and who was taking part in clearing the smuggled goods may satisfy the authority that he is likely to continue in his activities in the future and as such would justify his detention. In Gora v. State of West Bengal : 1975CriLJ429 this Court after referring to the earlier decisions held that the test of proximity is not a rigid or mechanical test to be blindly applied by merely counting the number of months between the offending act and the order of detention. The question is whether the past activities of the detenu are such that the detaining authority can reasonably come to the conclusion that the detenu is likely to continue in his unlawful activities. If the detaining authority in this case had come to the conclusion taking into account the past activities of the detenu that he is likely to continue to indulge in such activities in future there would be no justification for this Court to interfere. It is quite likely that persons who are deeply involved in such activities as smuggling can cause a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the detaning authority that they are likely to continue in their unlawful activities. In this case, the 4th respondent who passed an order under Section 9(1) has not stated that he is satisfied that the detenu is likely to engage in transporting all smuggled goods. What he has stated is that the detenu engages and is likely to engage in transporting smuggled goods. 'There was no material before the 4th respondent for coming to the conclusion that the detenu 'engages' in transporting smueeled goods. To this extent we have to accept the contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant that there is no material for coming to the conclusion that the detenu was engaging himself in the unlawful activities.' The order impuged was not set aside on the ground that considerable time had elapsed between the past offending activities of the detenu and the order of his datention but on the ground that there was no material before the detaining authority on which it could infer that the petitioner was at the time of the detention order engaging himself in unlawful activities. The order stated that the detaining authority was satisfied not only that the detenu was likeey to engage in transporting smuggled goods but also on the ground that he was engaging himself in transporting smuggled goods and for this there was no material. In fact as would appear from the passage extracted above it was clearly held that even on the basis of the past activities which had taken place quite some time before a detention order is passed if the detaining authority could have a reasonable apprehension in its mind that the detenu was likely to continue in this unlawful activities. an order for his preventive detention could justifiably be passed. The decision of the Supreme Court in Lakshman Khatik's case (1974 Cri LJ 936) was noticed in the subsequent decision in Golam Hussain v. Commr. of Police, Calcutta : 1974CriLJ938 . The material facts giving rise to the petition in Golam Hussain's case were that the Commissioner of Police Calcutta passed the initial order of detention dated 19th July, 1973 against the petitioner under Section 3(1)(a)(ii) read with Sub-section (2) of the Security Act. The grounds which induced the detaining authority to pass the order were as follows:

1. On 8th October, 1972 at about 22.25 hours, you along with your associates Achcha Lal of 1 Manickotola Bazar Lane, Satya Narayan Jaiswal of 123/2. Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, and others, all being armed with bombs. soda water-bottles created a great disturbance of public order on Gouri Shankar Lane in front of premises No. 8 by hurling bombs indiscriminately with a view to attack one Jiban Paul of 8, Gouri Shankar Lane and his group in retaliation to an earlier quarrel that took place with the said Jiban Paul at 8, Gouri Shankar Lane with your associates Satya Narayan Jaiswal and others. The incident terrorised the locality and threw out of gear the normal life stream of the residents of the said locality amounting to police order.

2. On 9th Nov. 1972 sometimes between 04.45 hours you along with your associates Ratish Pradhan alias Lalta of 23/1A Abinash Kavirai St. Benode Kr. Jaiswal of 348. Gulu Gategar Lane and others all be-ins armed with brickbats, soda-water bottles, bombs, poles created a great disturbance of public order on Gouri Shanker Lane and Abinash Kavirai Street by hurling soda water-bottles, brickbats indiscriminately with a view to overawe the organisers of the Kali-puja that took place in front of 8 Gouri Shankar Lane and thereby to terrorise the locality. As a result the lights of the above puja pandal were damaged. This was in sequel to an incident that took place earlier at about 04.30 hours when your associates Benode Kumar and others threw beer bottles at the Kalipuja pandal at 8, Gouri Shankar Lane where some females were then dancing, which has been protested by the local people and the organiser of the said puja.

And if left free and unfettered you are likely to continue to disturb maintenance of public order by acting in a similar manner as aforesaid.

One of the contentions raised before the Supreme Court was that there has been a long interval of nine months between the criminal incidents of October and November. 1972 and the detention order of July 1973. Learned counsel relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in Lakshman Khatik case and an earlier decision in Rarne-shwar Shah v. District Magistrate, Burdwan : 1964CriLJ257 . While considering this contention it was observed by Krishna Iyer, J. who delivered the judgment on behalf of the Court that:

It is true that there must be a live link between the grounds of criminal activity alleged by the detaining authority and the purpose of detention namely, inhibition of prejudicial activity of the species specified in the statute. This credible chain is snapped if there is too long and unexplained an interval between the offending acts and the order of detention. Such is the ratio of proximity in Lakshman Khatik. No authority, acting rationally, can be satisfied, subjectively or otherwise of future mischief merely because long ago the detenu had done something evil. To rule otherwise is to sanction a simulacrum of a statutory requirement. But no mechanical test by counting the months of the interval is sound. It all depends on the nature of the acts relied on, grave and determined or less serious and corrigible, on the length of the gap short or long. on the reason for the delay in taking preventive action, like information of participation being available only in the course of an investigation....

In the present case the acts are serious, being bomb hurling and brickbat throwing in public places creating panic....

One of the factors which led the Supreme Court to discover a live link between the past activities of the detenu and the apprehension for the future necessitating the detention order was the very nature of the acts itself committed by the petitioner in the past though seven months earlier, Lakshman Khatik's case as well as the decision in Golem Hussain v. Commissioner of Police, Calcutta were again noticed by the Supreme Court in Gora v. State of West Bengal : 1975CriLJ429 . By an order dated 19th December, 1973 made under Sub-section (1) read with Sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Security Act the District Magistrate concerned directed that the petitioner before the Supreme Court be detained as he was satisfied that with a view to preventing him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order it was necessary to do so. Pursuant to the order of detention, the petitioner was arrested on the 18th January, 1974 and immediately on his arrest he was served with the grounds on which it was made. The grounds of detention referred only to one incident as forming the basis for arriving at the subjective satisfaction as regards the necessity for detention of the petitioner and that incident was described in the following terms.

On the night of 25/26th June, 1973 at about 00.01 hours you along with your associates being armed with lethal weapons including fire-arms raided the house of Ananta Kayal of Natthla under Diamond Harbour police station and looted away cash, ornaments etc. At the time of operation you fired from your fire-arms indiscriminately disregarding human lives and their safety. As a result the house owner Ananta Kayal and his close door neighbour Ajit Kayal sustained grievous gun shot injuries on their persons. Subsequently both of them expired in Diamond Harbour Hospital, You also brutally assaulted some of the inmates of the house of occurrence. Your action created such panic in the locality and the local people felt a sense of insecurity. Thus you acted in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

8. One of the contentions raised in support of the petition by the learned Counsel representing him was that the solitary incident set out in the grounds of detention was so remote from the date of the order of detention-in fact there was a time lag of about six months - that the District Magistrate could not possibly have arrived at his subjective satisfaction on the basis of that incident. The requirements of proximity was not satisfied and the subjective satisfaction said to have been reached by the District Magistrate could not be regarded as real or genuine. After noticing the observations made by the Supreme Court in Lakshman Khatik 1974 Cri LJ 936 and Golam Hussain case 1974 Cri LJ 938 (supra), it was held that 'there is, therefore, no hard and fast rule that merely because there is a time last of about six months between the Offending acts and the date of the order of detention the causal link must he taken to be broken and the satisfaction claimed to have been arrived at by the District Magistrate must be regarded as sham or unreal. Whether the acts of the detenu forming the basis for arriving at a subjective satisfaction are too remote in point of time to induce any reasonable person to reach such subjective satisfaction must depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The test of proximity is not a rigid or mechanical test to be blindly applied by merely counting the number of months between the 'offending' acts and the order of detention. It is a subsidiary test evolved by the Court for the purpose of determining the main question whether the cast activities of the detenu are such that from them a reasonable prognosis can be made as to the future conduct of the detenu and its utility. therefore. lies only in so far as it subserves that. purpose and it cannot be allowed to dominate or drown it. The prejudicial act of the detenu may in a given case be of such a character as to suggest that it is a part of an organized operation of a complex of agencies collaborating to clandestinely and secretly carry on such activities and in such a case the detaining authority may reasonably feel satisfied that the ore-judicial act of the detenu which has come to light cannot be a solitary or isolated act but must be part of course of conduct of such or similar activities clandestinely or secretly carried on by the detenu and it is, therefore, necessary to detain him with a view to preventing him from indulging in such activities in the future. Here in the present case, that act alleged against the petitioner was a daring act of dacoity in a village by a gang consisting of the petitioner and his associates and if this act is judged in its correct setting, grave proportion and clear implication, it would be clear that it cannot be a stray isolated act but must be the work of a habituated and hardened criminal given to commit dacoities and the District Magistrate could, therefore, reasonably arrive at a satisfaction that with a view to preventing the petitioner from carrying on such activities it was necessary to detain him....'

9. Thus even one single act could be of such a nature and character be-cause of its magnitude and its vicious-ness as to justify the inference that the detenu was likely to be involved in similar activities in future also. Each case must be judged on its own facts after taking into account the surrounding circumstances. As far as the instant case is concerned the petitioner was engaged in the business of procuring and selling electrical aoods. As noticed earlier on the 4th February. 1980 during raid conducted at his business premises he was found to be in possession of considerable stock of contraband foreign goods. There was nothing before the raiding authority on the basis of which it could conclude that the smuggled goods had been obtained by him in a single transaction. The petitioner might well have secured them during activities spread over a considerable length of time. The Quantity of the goods seized from his shop and their value were indicative of the fact that he was engaged in keeping smuggled goods for purposes of trading on a considerable scale. To acquire smuggled goods in such large quantities requires links with an organization engaged in smuggling goods in the country. It is obvious that the goods recovered from his possession had not been acquired by him for personal use and had been obtained for his business purposes. It was thus clear that the profit making avarice of the petitioner was such that he was not disinclined to indulge in anti-social activities which undermine national economy and the country's financial well-being. The seizure of such a huge quantity of smuggled goods from his possession was indicative of the fact that he possessed the means and had the capacity, the organization, the requisite links and the propensity to engage in anti-social activities of a nature for the prevention of which he has been detained, There was thus in our opinion in the circumstances of the case ample material justifying the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority that he would continue his unlawful activities if allowed to remain free.

10. It may be noted here that the Government was informed of the seizure of smuggled goods from his possession on the 8th August, 1980 only. On the 19th September. 1980 the order of his detention was passed soon thereafter. The fact that in between the date when the raid at his shop was conducted by the officers of Excise and Customs Department and till the date of the detention order no activities had been noticed on behalf of the petitioner indicating that he continued to keep smuggled Roods is in our opinion of no significance in the circumstances of the case. During this period as would appear from the counter-affidavit filed the activities of the petitioner were closely watched and he was bound to have had an apprehension that unless he lay low for sometime his acts would not go unnoticed.

11. It was lastly urged that the order of detention passed against the petitioner was mala fide since proceedings under the Customs Act had also been initiated against the petitioner and consequently there could be no apprehension in the mind of the detaining authority that he would in future indulge in keeping smuggled goods. The object of the detention order was to prevent him from keeping smuggled goods. If the petitioner had been sentenced to an imprisonment as a consequence of the raid conducted at his shop this object would have been attained and there would have been no necessity for passing an order for his detention. In the present case only adjudication proceedings were going on against the petitioner which could not result in his incarceration and thus act as a check to his activities in future. The scope and the object of the preventive detention of the petitioner is entirely different from the proceedings that were pending against him under Section 111(d) and Section 112 of the Customs Act. 1962. We find consequently no substance in the contention that merely because proceedings against him were pending at the time when the order impugned was passed it must be characterised a mala fide one.

12. Various contentions raised by the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner having failed, this petition is dismissed. In the circumstances of the case there shall be no orders as to costs.


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