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Nazul Ali Molla, Etc. Vs. State of West Bengal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition Nos. 227 and 228 of 1969, decided on September 16, 1969
Judge
Reported in(1969)3SCC698
ActsConstitution Of India - Article 32, 226; Preventive Detention Act, 1950 (48 of 1950) - Section 3(2)
AppellantNazul Ali Molla, Etc.
RespondentState of West Bengal
Excerpt:
.....the detention had clearly become illegal...........that there can be no analogy between a petition for habeas corpus and petitions filed either under article 226 or article 32 of the constitution which relate to writs other than a writ of habeas corpus. learned counsel for the respondent also relied on the decisions in england in re hastings (no. 2)2 and re hastings (no. 3).3 but these cases instead of supporting his proposition, show that even in england until the habeas corpus act, 1960 was passed, the principle recognised was that a person illegally detained had the right to go from court to court though it was held that he could not go to different judges of the same court. in the first case, there was a mention of different courts and the latter case explained that those courts were not different and had to be treated as one single.....
Judgment:
1.These are two petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution by two persons who have been detained under Section 3(2) of the Preventive Detention Act. When these petitions came up for hearing, a preliminary objection was raised on behalf of the respondent that both these petitioners had moved the High Court of Calcutta under Article 226 of the Constitution for their relief and in those petitions the rules issued were discharged, on July 25, 1969. It was urged that those orders of the High Court not having been brought up in appeal in this court, became final and that these petitions should be held to be barred by the principle of res judicata. Counsel for the respondent argued that this court has held in Daryao v. State of U.P.1 that if a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution is presented in the High Court and is dismissed on merits and not on the grounds of limitation or without a speaking order and no appeal is brought up against the order of the High Court, a petition on similar grounds in the Supreme Court should be held to be barred by res judicata. That case does not, however, apply to the case before us, because the court in that case very clearly indicated that there can be no analogy between a petition for habeas corpus and petitions filed either under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution which relate to writs other than a writ of habeas corpus. Learned Counsel for the respondent also relied on the decisions in England in Re Hastings (No. 2)2 and Re Hastings (No. 3).3 But these cases instead of supporting his proposition, show that even in England until the Habeas Corpus Act, 1960 was passed, the principle recognised was that a person illegally detained had the right to go from court to court though it was held that he could not go to different Judges of the same court. In the first case, there was a mention of different courts and the latter case explained that those courts were not different and had to be treated as one single court, so that the various courts known by different designations were really divisions of one single court. In this court, there is no decision that a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution for the issue of a writ of habeas corpus is to be held to be barred on the principle of res judicata if a petition for a similar writ under Article 226 of the Constitution before a High Court has been decided and no appeal is brought up to this court against that decision. We are, therefore, not inclined to accept the point put forward by counsel. But in this case, this point need not detain us, because the material supplied on the records of these two petitions on behalf of the respondent is totally insufficient to invoke the principle of res judicata even if such a principle could be applied. The pleadings in the two petitions before the High Court have not been produced before this court. No even the judgments passed have been brought before us. Whether the rules were discharged after going into the merits or not is not known. It is not possible to find whether all the grounds now being taken in these petitions did or did not exist when those petitions were presented, and whether they were considered by the High Court. In these circumstances the respondent is not entitled to invoke the principle of res judicata to defeat these two petitions.

2. On merits, it is very clear that the detention of both the petitioners has become illegal. Both these petitioners sent their representations to the Government on or about June 14, 1969 and those representations were considered and decided by the Government on the expiry of two months on August 13, 1969, after the Government had already confirmed the order of detention on receipt of the report of the Advisory Board. No satisfactory explanation is given for the delay. It is stated that the representations were sent for report to the District Magistrate who did not recommend release and thereupon the representations were considered and rejected. This does not explain the delay of two months. Clearly the detention of both the petitioners became illegal and the petitions are allowed. Both the petitioners shall be released forthwith unless they are required in connection with some other charge.


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