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Bhima Das Vs. State of Orissa and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.C. No. 916 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Ori163
ActsPreventive Detention Act, 1950 - Sections 3(1)
AppellantBhima Das
RespondentState of Orissa and anr.
Advocates:D.P. Kar, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....(2) glt 246, are not good law]. - position of law is now well settled that the subjective satisfaction of detaining authority is not justiciable. we are therefore, satisfied that the incidents (i) and (iv) to (vii) are wholly vague, irrelevant and foreign......premises between 6 p. m. to 1.50 a. m.'2. mr. kar on behalf of the petitioner contends that the grounds of detention were vague, and the petitioner is not in a position to make an effective representation against the grounds on account of vagueness.position of law is now well settled that the subjective satisfaction of detaining authority is not justiciable. the reasonableness of the satisfaction and the adequacy of the materials cannot be examined by a court of law. if however, any of the grounds is irrelevant or foreign to the act, or is so vague that the detenu would not be in a position to make an effective representation, then the order of detention is liable to be quashed. further, if the detenu has been detained on a large many grounds and any one of them is found to be foreign.....
Judgment:

G. K. Misra, C.J.

1. On 7-9-1969, the petitioner was served with Annexure A, an order dated 6-9-1869 passed by the District Magistrate, Cuttack, in exercise of his powers under Sub-clause (ii) of Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, directing that the petitioner shall be detained in Cuttack Jail until further orders. The impugned order of detention was served on him as on the next day in pursuance of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the Act. The grounds may be enumerated hereunder.

(1) You, taking advantage of the students' agitation since July 1969, protesting against the increase in bus fare and levy of octroi by the Cuttack Municipality made every effort to induce the students to resort to violent activities which would ultimately have led to complete breakdown of public order. Specifically, your activities prejudiced the maintenance of public order as evidenced by the following incidents:--

(i) On 21-8-1969 the students damaged the public phone box at Cuttack Chandi Crossing and assaulted the constable on duty there. They also assaulted the traffic constable. The students manhandled the City traffic S. I. at Buxi Bazar, stopped and pelted stones at a State Transport Service bus at Nuapatna.

(ii) You were also a member of the unlawful assembly who damaged a police vehicle at College crossing on 21-3-1969 and manhandled the driver.

(iii) At your instance, there was heavy brick-batting at the Police party at College square on 31-8-1969.

(iv) On 22-8-1969, the students resorted to heavy brikbatting at the police party at Cuttack Chandi crossing and college square.

(v) On 23-8-1969 at Ravenshaw college the students severely assaulted a Sub-Inspector belonging to the Central C. I. D. Organization .

(vi) On 25-8-1969, the Reader S. I. to the City A. S. P. was severely assaulted by the students in the Medical College premises.

(vii) On 27-8-1969 the State Education Minister was gheraoed by the students in the Ravenshaw college premises between 6 p. m. to 1.50 a. m.'

2. Mr. Kar on behalf of the petitioner contends that the grounds of detention were vague, and the petitioner is not in a position to make an effective representation against the grounds on account of vagueness.

Position of law is now well settled that the subjective satisfaction of detaining authority is not justiciable. The reasonableness of the satisfaction and the adequacy of the materials cannot be examined by a Court of law. If however, any of the grounds is irrelevant or foreign to the act, or is so vague that the detenu would not be in a position to make an effective representation, then the order of detention is liable to be quashed. Further, if the detenu has been detained on a large many grounds and any one of them is found to be foreign or irrelevant, then the entire detention order must be quashed for the simple reason that the Court is not in a position to predicate as to what particular ground influenced the detaining authority. See AIR 1964 SC 334.

It is in the light of these principles that the present case must be examined.

3. It would appear from the grounds of detention that the first part of paragraph (1) is in general terms. It says that the petitioner, taking advantage of the students' agitation in July 1969 protesting against the increase in bus fares and levy of octroi by the Cuttack Municipality, made every effort to induce the students to resort to violent activities which would ultimately lead to complete breakdown of public order. If the general statement constitutes the ground of detention, it is wholly vague. It does not show how,where and when the petitioner made every effort to induce the students to resort to violent activities. This general statement is followed by a statement of specific activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order 'as evidenced by the incidents'. 7 instances have been given. Excepting incidents (ii) and (iii) all the restdo not at all connect the petitioner with the activities of the students. Assumingthat the activities of the students referred to in the incidents are not vague, the petitioner cannot be detained for the activities of the students unless a ground Is made out that it was at his instance that the students were induced to do so or that in fact he took part in those activities. Except (ii) and (iii) the other grounds are therefore, wholly irrelevant and foreign to the Act.

Confronted with this difficulty Mr. Mohapatra, on behalf of the opposite parties advanced a contention that the general observation made in the first part of paragraph (1) that the petitioner made every effort to induce the students to resort to violent activities would also govern the specific incidents. We are unable to accept this contention. Had there been any truth in this contention, definitely in instances (ii) and (iii) no reference would have been made to the petitioner. Even asuming that there is substance in Mr. Mohapatra's contention, the position does not improve inasmuch as the general observation in paragraph (1) is itself vague and does not give any details regarding the place, the time, and the nature of the efforts made by the petitioner. We are therefore, satisfied that the incidents (i) and (iv) to (vii) are wholly vague, irrelevant and foreign. The general observation made in paragraph (1) is also vague.

On the aforesaid analysis, we are clearly of opinion that the detention order is bad and must be quashed. We accordingly issue a writ of certiorari directing that the impugned order be quashed and that the petitioner be released forthwith.

S.K. Ray, J.

4. I agree.


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