1. This is a petition by Thakur Bhimsingh under Article 226 of the Constitution for a writ in the nature of habeas corpus against his detention under the Preventive Detention Act.
2. The petitioner was arrested in pursuance of the order of the District Magistrate Pali dated 7-1-1956, passed under Section 3, preventive Detention Act, 4 of 1950 as amended from time to time with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintaining of public order. He was actually arrested on 30-1-1956, and is under detention in the Central Prison, Jaipur. He was furnished with the grounds of his detention on 7-2-1956, and it appears that the grounds of detention were drawn up for the first time on 3-2-1956,long after his detention was ordered by the District Magistrate on 7-1-1956.
3. The petitioner's case is that he helped Maharajadhiraj Shri Ajitsingh who stood against , Shri Gokulbhai Bhatta Congress candidate in the Parliamentary election in the last general elections held in 1952 at which the latter was defeated and that he also took active part in collecting fund for filing writ petitions before the High Court and the Supreme Court against the orders of the Rajasthan Government for resumption of jagirs and, therefore, he was an eye-sore to the Congress ministry in this State. He further stated that as his mother and grand-mother had been ill for three months, he had to live constantly in his house at Sanderao attending on them and that the mother died on 25-12-1955 and the grand-mother on 17-11 1955, and, therefore, he had no occasion to keep himself occupied in the activities or programme of the Bhooswami Sangh in connection with which his detention appears to have been ordered by the District Magistrate.
4. We may mention at this place that an affidavit has been filed by the District Magistrate inwhich he has sworn that he had passed the order ofdetention against the petitioner after carefullyexamining all the material that had been placedbefore him by the police in connection with theactivities of the petitioner and that he was satisfied as a result of such examination that the detention of the petitioner was essential for the maintenance of public order and that there was no question of any extraneous motives in detaining thepetitioner.
5. The first contention raised on behalf of the petitioner is that it was remarkable that at the time the learned District Magistrate ordered his detention on 7-1-1956, he did not have before him the grounds of detention which were drawn up for the first time on 3-2-1956, as already stated above.
The petitioner argues that there could be no better proof of his contention that his detention was not the result of the mental satisfaction of the District Magistrate at the time he ordered the detention but was the result of extraneous considerations.
6. Now, Section 3, Preventive Detention Act enables the District Magistrate among others to detain a person for the three objects mentioned therein. Sub-section (3) of Section 3 provides that when any order is made under Section 3 by a District Magistrate or any other officer mentioned in Sub-section (2), he shall forthwith report the fact to the State Government to which he is subordinate together with the grounds on which the order has been made and such other particulars as in his opinion have a bearing on the matter, and it is further provided that no such order made after the commencement of the Preventive Detention (Second Amendment) Act, 1952, shall remain in force for more than twelve days after the making thereof unless in the meantime it has been approved by the State Government.
Sub-section (4) then provides that when any order is made or approved by the State Government under this section, the State Government shall, as soon as may be, report the fact to the Central Government together with the grounds on which the order has been made and such other particulars as in the opinion of the State Government have a bearing on the necessity for the order.
7. It clearly follows from this that the grounds of detention are required to be prepared soon after the detention if not simultaneously with it orprior thereto and the fact of detention along with grounds thereof has to be reported by the DistrictMagistrate to the State Government, and by the State Government, if it has approved the detention, to the Central Government together with the grounds on which the order has been made.
The detention in this case was ordered on 7-1-1956, and the grounds of detention were admittedly prepared as late as 3-2-1956. It is further curious that the State appears to have approved the detention of the petitioner although apparently no grounds were submitted to it within twelve days thereof.
In these circumstances, it is impossible for us to feel satisfied that either the District Magistrate or the State Government had before them proper material on the basis of which the detention of the petitioner could be ordered or approved.
8. It was contended in this connection by the learned Government Advocate that the detenu was required to be furnished with the grounds of his detention only under Section 7, Preventive Detention Act to enable him to make a representation against the order of detention at the earliest opportunity to the appropriate Government and that the absence of such grounds except under Section 7 was altogether immaterial, because the District Magistrate could have been satisfied on the material placed before him by the police so far as the activities of the petitioner were concerned.
It was pointed out to us in this connection that Section 3(1) only mentions the order and not the grounds of order. This argument is, in our opinion, fallacious. In the first place, Section 3(1) (a) (and this applies to the authorities mentioned in Sub-section (2) such as the District Magistrate) requires that the detaining authority must be satisfied with respect to a particular person that it is necessary to detain him for the purposes of any of the three objects mentioned in that sub-section.
Now, the detaining authority can only be satisfied if there are grounds before him on which he can be so satisfied, and, therefore, it seems to us obvious that the grounds for making the order are the grounds on which the detaining authority was satisfied that it was necessary to make the order, normally and they should be in existence when the order is made.
Apart from that an order of detention under Sub-section (2) as in the present case after twelve days of the making thereof, must spend itself under Sub-section (3) of Section 3 unless in the meantime it has been approved by the State Government. Such approval can only be sought and accorded if the order made by the District Magistrate together with the grounds has been reported to the State Government and not otherwise.
If the grounds relied on by the District Magistrate are not before the State Government we fail to understand how it is possible for it to approve the detention. In this view of the matter, we have no hesitation in saying that the detention of the petitioner in any case beyond the twelve days of the order of detention was altogether illegal inasmuch as it was impossible for the detaining authorities to have formed any rational opinion about the necessity of the detention.
9. The next ground raised by the petitioner is that the grounds supplied to him for his detention have no relation whatsoever to the object for which his detention was ordered by the District Magistrate. Six grounds in all were supplied to the petitioner.
10. The first ground said that the petitioner was an active worker of the Bhooswami Sangle in the District of Pali and had been persistently trying, along with his brother Shri Takhatsingh, tofurther the agitation started by that organisation and that he was making etfforts to incite the Bhooswamies to resort to illegal, unconstitutional and violent methods and generally to defy theGovernment and to act in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. This, taken by itself, is a very vague ground and was not calculated to enable the petitioner to make a proper representation to the Government against the detention.
11. The second ground is that on or about 38-12-1955, a meeting of leading jagirdars was held in Thikana Sanedrao and that the petitioner wasthe jagirdar of that thikana. The third ground is that the petitioner had entertained certain Bhooswami Sangh agitators on 30th and 31st December 1955. These two grounds are clearly irrelevant to the object of the petitioner's detention, namely, the maintenance of law and order, because it is not at all apparent how the holding of a meeting in Sanderao or the entertaining of such persons therein, who were connected with the alleged agitation of the Bhooswami Sangh, could by themselves affect the law and order situation.
12. The next two grounds relate to a certain dispute regarding land between the jagirdar and one Ugamsingh. It is said that an exchange of fire took place between the parties and a complaint under Section 145, Criminal P. C. had been filed against the petitioner and his brother.
The other allegation is about proceedings which are said to have been started against the petitioner's brother Takhatsingh & certain other employees of the thikana under Section 107, Cri. P. C. in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Bali, and a mention has also been made in the same paragraph (No. 5) that a case under Sections 353 & 147, I.P.C. has been registered against certain employees of the thikana.
We have no hesitation in saying that these grounds have no relation whatsoever with the purpose of the petitioner's detention. We do not understand how the petitioner could be connected with these incidents, &, in any case, there must be arational relation between the detention and the object thereof which, in our opinion, is entirely absent in this case.
13. We are aware that the power to issue a detention order under Section 3, Preventive Detention Act from the point of view of sufficiency of grounds is primarily a matter for the satisfaction of the appropriate authorities specified in that section and that it is not for us to determine whether the grounds for such detention are sufficient or otherwise.
But we must point out that where the grounds on which the detention of the petitioner has been ordered have no rational probative value and are extraneous to the scope or purpose of the object in view as laid down by law, the detenu in such a case has a right to come to Court and attack the order of detention. Judged according to this principle the order of the District Magistrate, Pali, detaining the petitioner is wholly bad and cannot be sustained. See State of Bombay v. Atma Bam AIR 1951 SC 157 (A).
14. The result is that we allow this petition, set aside the detention of the petitioner Bhimsingh and hereby direct that he shall be released forthwith.