K.N. Mudaliyar, J.
1. These two writ petitions refer to the detention of C.H. Dhas and C. Wilson who are detained in the Central Jail, Palayamkottai respectively. Ramalinga Nadar and Jesudhas are the two petitioners praying for a direction from this Court that the two detenus may be released from detention.
2. The Collector and Additional District Magistrate (I) of Kanyakurnari District passed a composite order of detention of three persons Arthur Hendrose alias Manthri, C.H. Dhas alias K.C. Dhas alias Rajan and C. Wilson under Section 3 (2) (b) read with Section 3 (1) (a) (iii) of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 (Central Act XXVI of 1971). C.H. Dhas and C. Wilson were arrested and detained, but Arthur Hendrose is absconding and he is not yet apprehended.
3. It emerges from the record that Arthur Hendrose and C.H. Dhas are the sons of one Haridoss. C. Wilson is the brother of the said Haridoss.
4. Arthur Hendrose is the owner of lorry KLV: 7153 styled as 'Adam', T.M.C. 9047 styled as 'Peace' which was later on reregistered under registration No. KLV: 7470 'Brothers' and the lorry bearing No. MDF: 3148 styled as 'Thilaga Transport'. The name of the lorry KLV 7470 was later altered as 'Adham' which was subsequently changed, as 'Vijayalakshmi'.
5. C.H. Dhas, the elder brother of Arthur Hendrose is the owner of the lorry MDK: 3144 styled as 'Vijayalakshmi, and KLT 8577 styled as 'Peace'
6. C. Wilson is the younger brother of Haridoss. He is the owner of the lorry KLV 5018 styled as 'C. Wilson' which was later on changed as 'Geethamalar'. (Haridoss is the father of Arthur Hendrose and C.H. Dhas. He is the owner of the lorry KLV 3234. Haridoss is not the subject-matter of any detention order)
7. It emerges from the impugned detention order that C.H. Dhas is implicated in the incident that occurred on 4th November, 1971, 1st September, 1971 and 29th November, 1971. These incidents are the subject-matter of crimes registered in Crime No. 895 of 1971 of Thakkalai police station under Clause 3 of the Southern States (Regulation of Export of Rice) Order which was then pending trial and in Crime No. 916 of 1971 of Kuzhithurai police station under Clause 3 of the Southern States (Regulation of Export of Rice) Order and Section 426, Indian Penal Code and Section 77 read with 112 of the Motor Vehicles Act and in Crime No. 951 of 1971 of Thakkalai police station under clauses 2 and 3 of the Southern States (Regulation of Export of Rice) Order which is under investigation respectively.
8. C. Wilson also is directly concerned in two incidents that occurred on 8th July, 1971 and nth September, 1971 in Crime No. 325 of 1971 of Arumani police station under Clause 3 of the Southern States (Regulations of Export of Rice) Order, 1964 read with Sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act and Section 307, Indian Penal Code which is now pending trial before the Additional I Class Magistrate, Kuzhithurai in crime No. 922 of 1971 of Kuzhithurai police station under Clause 3 of the Southern States (Regulations of Export of Rice) Order, 1964 read with Section 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act which ended in acquittal for want of legal evidence, respectively.
9. The further averment in the order of detention against G.H. Dhas (detenu) is that he was found travelling and smuggling 100 bags of rice from Tamil Nadu to Kerala State in a lorry MDK: 3148 styled as 'Thilaga Transport' belonging to Arthur Hendrose on 4th November, 1971. He was chassed and arrested and a case w as then pending on the date of the detention order. Two other instances of the same kind in which G.H. Dhas was involved were said to have occurred on 1st September, 1971 and 29th November, 1971. These two instances have been elaborately described in the body of the detention order.
The allegation agaiast C. Wilson is that on 8th July, 1971 his lorry KLV: 5018 dashed against the check-post and entered into Kerala State. In this case, C. Wilson applied for the return of the lorry from the Court of the Additional I Class Magistrate, Kuzhithurai and took delivery of it on furnishing security. On nth September, 1971 the same lorry belonging to C. Wilson bearing registration No. KLV: 5018 was sighted by the revenue staff entering into Kerala State. At the sight of the Police party the driver of the lorry stopped the vehicle and escaped from the spot. But the lorry was found to contain 10 bags of rice. C. Wilson was not directly involved in the crime, but his lorry contained 10 bags of rice which was attempted to be smuggled into Kerala State from Tamil Nadu State.
10. The gravamen of the complaint against the two detenus, G.H. Dhas and C. Wilson (and Arthur Hendrose) is that all the three persons have been smuggling rice from Tamil Nadu to Kerala State with the help of their close associates and lorry drivers and agents and therefore they have been indulging in acts prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community.
11. The respondent averred in his counter-affidavit that the two detenus, Arthur Hendrose and Haridoss are leading a joint family system of life with mutual understanding to help one another in their activities of smuggling rice, foodgrains and other essential commodities from Tamil Nadu to Kerala State. They are all residing very close to the Tamil Nadu border. With the active connivance of a net work of unauthorised dealers and agents of Kanyakumari District like Thiru Kolappan Ghettiar of Kottar these persons are dealing in smuggling of rice from Kanyakumari District in Tamil Nadu to Kerala State. According to the respondent, the said persons are dealing in black-marketing and smuggling jointly by owning different lorries in their individual names. The petitioners refuted the averment of the respondent that they are living as a joint family. But the respondent reiterated the averment that they are living as a joint family; they are all living together in one and the same premises and they are all carrying on illicit transactions jointly. The respondent further stated that though the instances relating to the detenus C.K. Dhas and C. Wilson related to the year 1971, there are telling circumstances connecting them with the illicit transport of rice from Tamil Nadu to Kerala State as stated in the grounds of detention.
12. The main argument advanced by the learned Counsel on behalf of the detenu that the two detenus have not employed their lorries in the smuggling activities from the end of 1971 and there is no reasonable nexus between the activities of the two detenus and the detention order and that the order of detention itself treats Arthur Hendrose as the villain of the piece and that the averment that the two detenus and Arthur Hendrose are leading a joint family system of life is without any basis. The learned Counsel further reinforced his argument by relying on the rationale found in the judgment of the Supreme Court in Nagen Murmu v. The State of West Bengal : 1973CriLJ667 , The Supreme Court of India held that past proximate conduct of a person is a relevant factor for ordering detention if it has a rational connection with the necessity of detention and that the detention for a two-year-old solitary incident must fail.
13. In the Supreme Court case, we notice that the detenu raided the house of one Jiban Krishna Das, shot the house-owner to death, looted cash and ornaments worth about Rs. 2,300 and set fire to his house. These offences are bound to be sporadic in their nature and not recurrent often. There is no likelihood of repetitive proclivities in a detenu to commit such offences. The activities of smuggling and such various instances constitute a continuous thread spanning over a number of years like, for example, the instances cited against Arthur Hendrose in the detention order in question. Nevertheless, we can act on the reason behind the Supreme Court judgment by applying the same to the facts relating to the two detenus.
14. Undoubtedly, the instances averred against the two detenus are as old as 8th July, 1971, 1st September, 1971, nth September, 1971 and 29th November, 1971. We do not find any averment that the lorries belonging to the two detenus were either employed by Arthur Hendrose during 1972; and 1973 upto the date of detention viz, 4th October, 1973. Nor do we find that in regard to the six instances in which Arthur Hendrose is implicated stretching over from 4th November, 1971 to 30th January, 1973, any one of the two detenus is involved in any sense whatever. The efflux of time and the consequential interregnum from 29th November, 1971 to 4th October, 1973 (so far as C.H. Dhas is concerned) and from nth September, 1971 to 4th October, 1973 (so far as G. Wilson is concerned) cannot be treated as furnishing a close proximity to, or connection with, the smuggling activities of Arthur Hendrose. The instances in which the two detenus are involved are far too remote for the purpose of raising any rational and reasonable inference of any apprehension of a repetition of such an act so as to justify their detention.
15. We direct that the two detenus, C.H. Dhas and C. Wilson, be set at liberty.