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Sampat Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Habeas Corpus Application No. 1200 of 1970
Judge
Reported in1970WLN739
AppellantSampat Singh
RespondentState of Rajasthan
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredChhajuram v. State of Jammu and Kashmir Writ
Excerpt:
.....extraneous to the consideration of public order under section 3 of the ordinance and further the district magistrate was animated with malafides. it is well settled that if one of several grounds supplied to the detenue be either irrelevant or vague the detention is invalidated. 13. article 22(5) of the constitution has conferred a fundamental right on the person detained to have the opportunity of making a representatation against the order of his preventive detention and this right could be exercised effectively only if the grounds furnished to the detenue are free from vagueness and are not based on extraneous considerations. i am satisfied that your remaining at large at this time will be against and prejudicial to the maintenance of the public order. 6 is about the petitioner..........of bhilwara. the order has been placed on record as ex. 1.2. on 2nd of october, 1970 the learned district magistrate furnished the grounds of the petitioner's detention to him. it appears that the government had approved the order on 7th october, 1970. on 6th november, 1970 this petition was lodged and it was admitted on the same day. by a supplementary application dated 9th november, 1970 the learned counsel for the petitioner; sought permission to raise certain additional grounds to challenge the vires of section 6(a) of the ordinance. on 12th november, 1970 a reply was filed on behalf of the learned district magistrate but as the vires of the ordinance were under challenge, on 13th november, 1970 a notice was ordered be issued to the learned advocate general.3. the order of.....
Judgment:

L.S. Mehta, J.

1. The petitioner Sampatsingh has moved this Court for grant of a writ of habeas corpus impugning the order of the District Magistrate, Bhilwara dated 28th September, 1970 for his detention under Section 3(2) of the Rajasthan Prevention Detention Ordinance, 1970 (Ordinance No. 6 of 1970), hereinafter to be referred as the Ordinance, for, allegedly acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in the district of Bhilwara. The order has been placed on record as Ex. 1.

2. On 2nd of October, 1970 the learned District Magistrate furnished the grounds of the petitioner's detention to him. It appears that the Government had approved the order on 7th October, 1970. On 6th November, 1970 this petition was lodged and it was admitted on the same day. By a supplementary application dated 9th November, 1970 the learned counsel for the petitioner; sought permission to raise certain additional grounds to challenge the vires of Section 6(a) of the Ordinance. On 12th November, 1970 a reply was filed on behalf of the learned District Magistrate but as the vires of the Ordinance were under challenge, on 13th November, 1970 a notice was ordered be issued to the learned Advocate General.

3. The order of detention Ex. 1 is challenged on two grounds.

4. In the first instance it is submitted' that the grounds furnished to the detenue were bad in that some of them were vague in some respects while others were extraneous to the consideration of public order under Section 3 of the Ordinance and further the District Magistrate was animated with malafides.

5. The second ground of challenge is, as already noticed, about the vires of Section 6-A of the Ordinance.

6. The learned District Magistrate has tried to justify his order on the grounds furnished by him to the detenue.

7. We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Advocate-General.

8. The grounds furnished to the petitioner have been set out in paragraph (4) of the petition. Before proceeding to examine them we may point out that the grounds have to such as would enable the detenue to be make a proper representation against his detention and they have to be reasonably related to the object of the detention, namely, maintenance of public order. It is well settled that if one of several grounds supplied to the detenue be either irrelevant or vague the detention is invalidated.

9. Before proceeding further we may briefly refer to some cases of the Supreme Court on the point. In State of Bombay v. Atmaram Shridhara Vaidya : 1951CriLJ373 their Lordships observed that the satisfaction of the detaining authority under Section 3(1) of the Act, namely, the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, which was similar to Section 3 of the Ordinance is subjective and not justiciable. The reasonableness of the satisfaction cannot, therefore, be questioned. It was, however, pointed out that the satisfaction of the detaining authority can be challenged if the grounds are irrelevant or malafide.

10. In Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar : 1966CriLJ608 their Lordships pointed cut the distinction between 'maintenance of public order' and 'prevention of law and order'. What was meant by the maintenance of public order', was the prevention of disorder of a grave nature, whereas the expression maintenence of law end order meant prevention of disorder of comparatively lesser gravity and of local significance. In this connection their Lordships observed as follows:

It will thus appear that just as 'public order' in the rulings of this Court (earlier cited), was said to comprehend disorders of less gravity than those affecting 'security of State' 'law and order' also comprehends of less gravity than those affecting 'public order'. One has to imagine three concentric circles. Law and order represents the largest circle within which is the next circle representing public order and the smallest circle represents security of State. It is then easy to see that an act may affect law and order, but not public order just as an act may effect public order but not security of the State. By using the expression 'maintenance of law and order' the District Magistrate was widening his own field of section&was; adding a clause to the Defence of India Rules.

11. In Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia's case as also in the case of Shibban Lal Saksena v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. : [1954]1SCR418 their Lordships pointed out that if one of the grounds or reasons that led to the satisfaction of the detaining authority is irrelevant the order of detention would be invalid, for it can never be certain to what extent the bad reasons have operated on the minds of the authority concerned or whether the detention order would have been made at all, if only one or two good reasons had been before it.

12. In Pushkar Mukherjee and 29 Others v. State of West Bengal 1961 (1) SCC 10 their Lordships reviewed the previous cases and held that even though one ground is vague and the other grounds are not vague the detention order has to be struck down as not in accordance with law.

13. Article 22(5) of the Constitution has conferred a fundamental right on the person detained to have the opportunity of making a representatation against the order of his preventive detention and this right could be exercised effectively only if the grounds furnished to the detenue are free from vagueness and are not based on extraneous considerations. We are mindful of Section 6 of the Ordinance which runs as follows:--(Section cited)

This section no doubt provides that no detention order would be invalid or inoperative merely by the reason(the word 'merely' he noted) that one or more of the grounds on which the order is made, are vague or irrelevant, provided other grounds did not suffer from any such inffirmity. The validity of this section was sought to be challenged by the supplemantary application of which we have already made a mention. But we are not called upon to examine the validity of this section as the challenge against the validity of the order is based on the infringment of the fundamental right to make representation against the detention confered by Article 22(5) of the Constitution and in our view the legal position emerging from the series of decisions of their Lordships of the Supreme Court on Article 22(5) is not affected by Section 6 of the Ordinance.

14. Therefore, we now propose to address ourselves to the several grounds furnished to the detenue. They run as follows--

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT MAGISTRATE,

BHILWARA (RAJ.)

Shri Sampatsingh s/o Fatehsingh r/o village Sangariya district Bhilwara.

You have been consistently acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in Bhilwara District which is revealed from the following facts:

1) That you assaulted Vikas Adhikari, Shahpura on 15.7.65 and interrupted him in discharging his official duty as such for which you were challaned and found guilty Under Section 353 I.P.C.

2) That you were suspended and removed from the post of Sarpanch Sangariya village for charges of mis-behaviour, misappropriation and embezzlement of Panchayat money by the State Government in the year 1966.

3) That you unauthorisedly occupied the court of Sangariya (Govt. Property) and are in illegal possession of the same inspite of the decree of the District Court.

4) That you have disturbed public order by committing various offences of rioting, forming unlawful assembly and causing grievous hurt. Following cases and proceedings are pending against you in various courts of the district:

1) Case 47/69 Under Section 342, 147/332, 353 IPC

2) 37/69 Under Section 107, 117, Cr. P.C.

3) 68/68 Under Section 447 I.P.C.

4) 188/69 Under Section 107, 117, I.P.C.

5) 47/69 Under Section 342, 147/332, 147/332/353 IPC P.S. Shahpura.

6) 2/66 Under Section 408, 402 I.P.C.

7) 35/66 Under Section 409 I.P.C.

8) 70/68 Under Section 409 I.P.C.

9) 71/68 Under Section 409 I.P.C.

10) 107, 117 on complaint of Shri Jai Singh.

5) That you threatened the life of Shri Jai Singh Nahar of village Sangariya and assaulted him on 18.7.68 for which you were bound down to maintain peace under Section 117(3) Cr. P.C. Proceedings are still pending in the court.

6) That you again threatened the life of Mithoolal Hemraj and Milapchand of Sangariya village and acted in a manner highly derogatory and prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

7) That apprehending serious breach of peace you were arrested by S.H.O. Fulia on 7.2 69 and released on ad interim bail bond of Rs. 5000/- for maintaining peace and order by the Sessions Court, Bhilwara.

8) That your activities had created awe and terror to the inhabitants of village Sangariya with the result that a Police guard was posted for the safety of the villagers and is being continued for the last many years.

9) That on various occasions you threatened the police Officer and assaulted them. You also abused the S D.M. Shahpura and intentionally insulted him in open court on 20.3.69 for which you were convicted for contempt proceedings.

10) That you took resort to violence and rioting against the Police officials and criminally assaulted M L.A. Bhooralal on 17.8 69 for which you were arrested and challaned in the court of First Class Magistrate, Shahpura.

11) That for reasons of misuse of arms and undesirable activities your Arms Licences were suspended and got deposited to the Police.

12) That your persistent indulging in violence and threatening the life of villagers and disturbing public order, the police was compelled to take proceedings Under Section 110 Cr. P.C. which is pending in the court of Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhilwara.

13) That not content with all previous activities you instigated the students of Shahpura College to commit violence and disturb public order on 18th September, 1970. On your instigagation students committed violence on the persons of Shri Ram Prasad Ladba, Irrigation Minister, Shri Ramesh Chandra Vyas M.P. Shri Yaswant Singh Nahar Zila Pramukh, Shri Rampal Upadhyaya and companions in Shahpura Dak Bungalow and burnt the State car and indulged in rioting violent students & destroyed other Govt. Property also in the Dak Bunglow at Shahpurs.

There is still tension in Shahpura town and due to your consistent indulgence and activities prejudicial to the maintenance of the public order. I am satisfied that your remaining at large at this time will be against and prejudicial to the maintenance of the public order.

Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred upon me under Clause (a) of Sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Rajasthan Preventive Detention Ordinance, 1970, I have directed the Suprintendent of Police, Bhilwara to arrest and detain you in Bhilwara Jail till further orders.

(M.L. Mehta)

District Magistrate,

Bhilwara 2.10.70

15. Ground No.1 relates to an incident that happened as back as July, 1965, that is, more than five years before the passing of the detention order. This ground undoubtedly relates to law and order but in our view it cannot have direct connection with the maintenance of public order.

16. Ground No 2 is about the suspension or removal of the petitioner from the office of the Sar Panch of Sangariya on charges of mis-behaviour, misappropriation and embezzlement of State money. This ground has no relevance whatsoever to the maintenance of public order.

17. Ground No. 3 is about the unauthorised occupation of the so-called Sangariya fort by the petitioner inspite of a decree of the District court. The position about this so-called Sangariya 'garh' or fort is that proceedings were taken against the petitioner under the Rajasthan Public Premises (eviction of unauthorised occupations) Act, 1964 (Act No. 2 of 1966) & the Estate Officer issued an order on5-8-68 directing the petitioner to vacate the fort. Against this order of the Estate Officer the petitioner went up in appeal to the District Judge who rejected the appeal on 28th September 1968. Against the order of the learned District Judge the petitioner lodged a writ petition in this Court which is S.B. Civil Writ petition No. 831 of 1968, and the proceedings for dispossessing the petitioner from the Sangariya fort were stayed by this Court. The learned Advocate General did not dispute the factual position that on the date of the impugned order of detention the stay order of this Court was in force. Thus, when the question as to whether the petitioner was in unaothorised occupation of the fort or not was sub judice in the writ proceedings the District Magistrate was not justified in making this as one of the grounds for passing the order of detention against the petitioner. Thus ground No 3 is also, therefore irrelevant.

18. In ground No. 4 a number of criminal cases pending against the petitioner have been referred. The case at item No 3 is one of criminal trespass. The case at item No. 6 is for an offence under items 7, 8 and 9 were for alleged offences Under Section 409 I P.C. The pendency of these cases, therefore, could not have been made a ground for passing the order of detention as the offence of criminal breach of trust has no relation with the maintenance of public order.

19. Ground No. 6 is about the petitioner threatening the life of one Mithoolal Hemraj and his acting in a manner highly derogatory and prejudicial to the maintenance of public order is clearly vague as no particulars whatsover about the date on which Mithoolal or Milapchand were thereatened as also in what manner, have been mentioned.

20. In ground No. 9 it has not been mentioned as to when the petitioner threatened the police officers. This ground is, therefore, equally bad.

21. Then, ground No. 11 refers to the misuse of arms and about undesirable activities of the petitioner which led to the suspension of his arms licences. Here again, it is not mentioned in what way and when the petitioner had misused his arms and what the undesirable activities were.

22. It was pointed out by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Chhajuram v. State of Jammu and Kashmir Writ petition No. 32 of 1970 decided on 3rd March, 1970 that the grounds which did not give details about the dates and the persons incited or the dates on which the incidents took place would make it impossible for any body to make a representation against such grounds.

23. Thus, on consideration of the several grounds furnished to the petitioner we are satisfied that the order of detention Ex. 1 stands vitiated and the same consequently cannot be said to be one passed according to the procedure established by law.

24. In the result we allow the writ petition, quash the order of the learned District Magistrate, Bhilwara dated 28-9-70 as also that of the Government dated 7th October, 1970 Ex.1 approving the same and hereby direct that the petitioner shall be released from custody forthwith.


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