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Jatindra Nath Biswas Vs. the State of West Bengal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition No. 568 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975SC1215; (1975)4SCC250; 1975(7)LC466(SC)
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 395 and 397; Maintenance and Internal Security Act, 1971 - Sections 3(1)
AppellantJatindra Nath Biswas
RespondentThe State of West Bengal
Appellant Advocate C.S.S. Rao, Amicus Curia
Respondent Advocate Leela Sethi and ; G.S. Chatterjee, Advs.
Cases ReferredIn Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar and Ors.
Excerpt:
.....in high court judgment dated 26.8.1999 - market value, held, ought to have been arrived at by giving cumulative increase of 7.5% per annum over the land rate awarded and reducing the resultant by 20% . - you along with your associates (1) madhab chandra mondal (2) bhupan adhikari (3) biswanath adhikari (4) jibon krishna biswas (5) promath samaddar (6) jnanandra nath roy (7) iman ali sardar and others being armed with deadly weapon like dagger etc. it was necessary to state some activities other than the raid on the individuals house to lend assurance to the fact that the district magistrate found the public order disturbed and hence felt satisfied that the detention of the petitioner was necessary to prevent him from indulging in such activities in future. the two concepts have well..........to be found in observing the formalities under the law. but we are of the opinion that thief acts stated in ground no. (ii) did not relate to the disturbance of the public order but merely concerned law and order. in connection with ground no. (i) one may say that the facts alleged thereunder did not affect the tempo and even flow of public life of the locality because when the villagers came, they were scared away by a bomb outrage presumably by explosion of bombs. the violent activities are said to have infused panic and terror in the mind of the people of the locality. but the second ground merely states that as a result of the activities of the petitioner mentioned in that ground people of the locality became very much panicky and peace and order was completely disturbed. the mere.....
Judgment:

N.L. Untwalia, J.

1. The petitioner was arrested on 17-3-1974 in pursuance of an order of detention made on 29-6-1973 by the District Magistrate; 24-Parganas, West Bengal under Section 3(1) of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971. The petitioner by this writ application challenges his detention as illegal.

2. The petition was filed by the detenu from Jail and was argued before us by an advocate of this Court appearing Amicus Curiae. The relevant facts may be stated from the counter filed on behalf of the respondent.

3. The grounds of detention against the petitioner are two and they are these:

(i) That on 8-6-72 at about 01.50 hrs. you alongwith your associates (1) Madhab Chandra Mondal (2) Bhupen Adhikari (3) Biswanath Adhikai (4) Jibon Krishna Biswas (5) Promatha Samaddar (6) Iman Ali Sardar (7) Profulla Kumar Roy (8) Jnanandra Nath Roy and others being armed with bombs and lethal weapons raided the house of Paresh Chandra Dutt, son of Nibaran Chandra Dutta of Simulpur P.S. Gaighata. Distt. 24-Parganas, assaulted the inmates of the house and looted awa cash, ornaments, utensils etc., valued Rs. 8110/-. That when the villagers viz., Ranjit Kr. Ghosh, Bhadu Mondal, Jiten Mazumdar, Nirode Ch. Sarkar and other chased you and your associates, you kept them at bay by bomb outrage and managed to escape with looted properties. Your such violent activities infused panic and terror in the mind of the peace loving people of the locality and consequently the public order of the locality was much disturbed.

(ii) That on 10-6-72 between 01.00 hrs. to 03.00 hrs. you along with your associates (1) Madhab Chandra Mondal (2) Bhupan Adhikari (3) Biswanath Adhikari (4) Jibon Krishna Biswas (5) Promath Samaddar (6) Jnanandra Nath Roy (7) Iman Ali Sardar and others being armed with deadly weapon like dagger etc., raided the houses of Nimai Ch. Bala, s/o. Promatha Nath Bala of Goalbathari, P.S. Gaighata, District 24-Parganas, assaulted the inmates of the house and looted away cash, wrist watch, clothing, gold, ornaments etc. valued about Rs. 540/-. As a result of your such activities the people of the locality became very much panicky and peace and order of the locality was completely disturbed.

4. In the counter it is further stated that in connection with the incidents mentioned in the grounds of detention two criminal cases were filed under Sections 395 and 397 of the Indian Penal Code. The detenu was not named in either of the First Information Reports but his complicity in the said incidents transpired in the course of investigation. The petitioner was arrested on 30-9-1972. In both the cases the petitioner was released on bail on 21-12-1972. After attending the court on some dates, he jumped bail on or after 21-6-1973 and remained absconding until he was arrested in pursuance of the detention order. The criminal cases could not be proceeded against him as the witness were unwilling to give evidence in court for fear of their lives. No infirmity is to be found in observing the formalities under the law. But we are of the opinion that thief acts stated in ground No. (ii) did not relate to the disturbance of the public order but merely concerned law and order. In connection with ground No. (i) one may say that the facts alleged thereunder did not affect the tempo and even flow of public life of the locality because when the villagers came, they were scared away by a bomb outrage presumably by explosion of bombs. The violent activities are said to have infused panic and terror in the mind of the people of the locality. But the second ground merely states that as a result of the activities of the petitioner mentioned in that ground people of the locality became very much panicky and peace and order was completely disturbed. The mere activity of committing dacoity with deadly weapons in the house of a single individual at the dead of night could not necessarily lead to the inference of disturbance of public order as was made out in the last portion of the ground. It was necessary to state some activities other than the raid on the individuals house to lend assurance to the fact that the District Magistrate found the public order disturbed and hence felt satisfied that the detention of the petitioner was necessary to prevent him from indulging in such activities in future. Merely for creating law and order problem, a person could not be detained under MISA Sometimes the dividing line on the facts stated may be thin to determine whether they constitute disturbance of public order or merely affects law and order. Yet the line is distinct in this case.

5. In the case of Kuso Sah v. The State of Bihar and Ors. : 1975CriLJ543 it has been said in paragraph 4 :

These acts may raise problems of law and order but we find it impossible to see their impact on public order. The two concepts have well defined contours, it being well established that stray and unorganised crimes of theft and assault are not matters of public order since they do not tend to affect the even flow of public life, infractions of law are bound to some measure to lead to disorder but every infraction of law Hoes not necessarily result in public disorder. As observed of West Bengal Mukherjee and Ors. v. The State of West Bengal- : 1970CriLJ852 line of demarcation must be drawn between serious and aggravated forms of disorder which directly affect the community or injure the public interest and the relatively minor breaches of peace of a purely local significance which primarily injure specific individuals and only in a secondary sense public interest. In Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar and Ors.- : 1966CriLJ608 Hidayatullah, J., has expressed this concept picturesquely by saying that one has to imagine three concentric circles: law and order represent the largest circle within which is the next circle representing public order and the smallest circle represents the security of State. 'Law and Order' comprehends disorders of less gravity than those of affecting 'public order' just as ''public order'' comprehends disorders of less gravity than those affecting 'security of state.

6. In our judgment ground No. (ii) could not justify the detention of the petitioner for preventing him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. It has been repeatedly pointed out by this Court that even if the ground, out of two or more is found to vitiate the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority, the order of detention fails. In such a situation one does not know whether the authority would have thought it fit to pass an order of detention only on the basis of the surviving grounds. The order stands vitiated if some out of many grounds are found to have no nexus with the object of detention.

7. For the reasons stated above, we allow this writ application, make the rule absolute and direct the release of the petitioner forthwith.


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