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Deban Das, Etc. Vs. the State of West Bengal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. Nos. 219, 223, 224 and 227 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1973SC1331; 1972(4)LC384(SC)
ActsWest Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act, 1970
AppellantDeban Das, Etc.
RespondentThe State of West Bengal
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....manner in which door was opened by the accused for entering into victims room - delay in recording statement of two pws by police , on facts, created a strong doubt to accept their evidence that they were eyewitnesses -though these pws claimed to have suffered injuries in the incident, investigating officer did not say that next morning when he visited the place of occurrence, he found any injury on them - identification of accused persons in light of a lantern was doubtful accused persons included an old man aged about 74 years as well as a boy aged 13 years - accused neighbours of the informant with whom family of the informant having long standing dispute - held, possibility of false implication of accused persons on account of long standing enmity utilising the incident of dacoity..........been made within that period.2. we have also in that petition held that the confirmation by the state government of the opinion of the advisory board that there is sufficient cause for detention, should be made within three months from the date of detention though the communication to the detenue need not be made within that period, but within a reasonable period.3. it writ petition no. 219 of 1971 the accused was arrested on 27, february 1971 on which date the grounds were served upon him. the detention order which was made on 24-2-1971 by the district magistrate of the 24 parganas and reported to the state government on 26-2-1971 was approved by the state government on 4-3-1971. on the same day the state government made a report to the central government. a representation was.....
Judgment:

P. Jaganmohan Reddy, J.

1. These petitioners under Article 32 challenge the order of the District Magistrate detaining them under the West Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act 1970 (hereinafter called 'the Act'). The main contentions have been set out in Writ Petition No. 218/71 which we have just disposed of. These are, namely : (1) whether the mandatory provisions of the Act have been complied with; (ii) Whether the grounds arc irrelevant or vague ; and (iii) Whether the State Government has confirmed the opinion of the Advisory Board that there was sufficient cause for detaining them within three months from the date of detention and whether the communication to the detune has been made within that period.

2. We have also in that petition held that the confirmation by the State Government of the opinion of the Advisory Board that there is sufficient cause for detention, should be made within three months from the date of detention though the communication to the detenue need not be made within that period, but within a reasonable period.

3. It Writ petition No. 219 of 1971 the accused was arrested on 27, February 1971 on which date the grounds were served upon him. The detention order which was made on 24-2-1971 by the District Magistrate of the 24 Parganas and reported to the State Government on 26-2-1971 was approved by the State Government on 4-3-1971. On the same day the State Government made a report to the Central Government. A representation was received from the detenue on 11-3-1971 and it was rejected on 27-3-1971. The State Government on that very day sent the detention order, representation and the grounds to the Advisory Board. It appears that the detenue made another representation on 22-4-71 and the State Government rejected that representation on 23-4-1971. The opinion of the Advisory Board was received on 4-5-1971, which was confirmed on 30-7-71 and communicated to the detenue on 4-8-1971. It would appear that though the Advisory Board's opinion was received by the State Government within three months from the date of the detention of the petitioner, it was not confirmed within that time but beyond three months as such the detention is invalid.

Writ Petition No. 223 of 1971: An order of detention was made by the District Magistrate, Burdwan on 23-3-71 which was communicated to the Government on the same day and received the approval of the State Government 1-4-1971. On the same day a report was sent to the Central Government. The accused was arrested on 6, May 1971 and was served with the order of detention and the grounds on the same day. A reference was made to the Board on 4-6-1971. Two representations were received by the State Government on 5-6-1971. The opinion of the Board that there was sufficient cause for detention was received on 6-7-'7l which was confirmed by the Government on 10-8-1971. The communication was made on the very next day 11, August 71. The confirmation having taken place beyond three months, it is clear that detention of the petitioner is invalid.

4. Similarly in Writ petition No. 224 of 1971 an order for detention was Made by the District Magistrate of 24 Paraganas on 24-3-71 and a report was made to the State Government on 30-3 71. The Government approved the order of detention of 3-4-71 and on the same day it reported to the Central Government. The petitioner was arrested on 2-4-71 and was served with the order of detention and the grounds on the same day. His representation was received on 26-6-71 which was rejected the next day on 27-6-71. The case of the petitioner was placed before the Board on 1-5-71 and the opinion of the said Board that there was sufficient cause for petitioner's detention was received on 11-6-71. The confirmation by the State Government was made on 7-7-71 which was communicated to the detenue on 12-2-71. The confirmation being beyond three months, the order of detention is illegal.

5. In Writ Petition No. 227 of 1971 also the confirmation was beyond three months and hence invalid. In this case the order of detention was made by the District Magistrate of 24 parganas on 30-3-71 which was approved on 8-4-71 and a report was made to the Central Government on the same day. The petitioner was arrested on 1-4-71 and a representation was received from him on 14-4-1971. It was rejected on 28-4-71. The matter was placed before the Board on 30-4-71 and the Board made its report on 10-6-71 that there is sufficient cause for detention. The State Government confirmed this opinion on 15-7-71 beyond three months and communicated it to the detenue on 29, July 1971.

6. As the detentions of these petitioners are invalid we had already directed them to be released on 3-12-1971. The petitions are accordingly allowed.


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