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Pramila Chakraborty and ors. Vs. the Superintendent, Hoogly Jail and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ407
AppellantPramila Chakraborty and ors.
RespondentThe Superintendent, Hoogly Jail and anr.
Cases ReferredHari Khemu Gawalli v. Deputy Commissioner of Police. Bombay
Excerpt:
- anil kumar sen, j.1. these three rules issued on three applications under section 491 of the code of criminal procedure have been heard together as they involve common questions of law and fact. the subject-matter of challenge in the three rules is the detention of three persons rabindra chakravarty alias gora, sujit kumar mukherjee alias tapan and ajit kumar mukherjee alias naru, rabindra chakravarty has been put to detention under an order dated july 6. 1971 passed by the district magistrate. hooghly in exercise of his powers under section 3(1) read with section 3(3) of the west bengal prevention of violent activities act, 1970 the object of detention being to prevent the detenu from acting in any manner prejudicial to the securitv of the state or the maintenance of public order. suiit.....
Judgment:

Anil Kumar Sen, J.

1. These three Rules issued on three applications under Section 491 of the Code of Criminal Procedure have been heard together as they involve common questions of law and fact. The subject-matter of challenge in the three Rules is the detention of three persons Rabindra Chakravarty alias Gora, Sujit Kumar Mukherjee alias Tapan and Ajit Kumar Mukherjee alias Naru, Rabindra Chakravarty has been put to detention under an order dated July 6. 1971 passed by the District Magistrate. Hooghly in exercise of his powers under Section 3(1) read with Section 3(3) of the West Bengal Prevention of Violent Activities Act, 1970 The object of detention being to prevent the detenu from acting in any manner prejudicial to the securitv of the State or the maintenance of public order. Suiit Kumar Mukherjee and Ajit Kumar Mukherjee have been out to detention under similar orders re-selectively dated July 9, 1971 and July 24, 1971. Ajit and Sujit are the two brothers. The grounds for detention in respect of all the three detenus as aforesaid are the same and are two in number as set out hereunder:

(1) On 13.12.71 at about 16-30 hrs. you along with your associates forming an unlawful assemble, armed with daggers and other deadlv weapons assaulted Tusher Bhattachariee and Asis Bhattacharjee both of Bowbazar Sitalatola on the public Road at Bamunpara. Khalisani. P. S. Bhadreswar. dragged them in a field near the river 'Saraswati' at Subhas Pallv and plunged them into the water of the said river with a view to put an end of their lives, vou and vour associates also threatened to kill the local people with pipe-guns who objected to vour such illegal acts on the public Road.

(2) On the night of 12.5.71 at about 23-15 hrs. vou along with vour associates all armed with daggers assaulted one Barun Kumar Chatteriee causing stab injuries on his person on Khalisani Road near the junction of old Post Office Lane under P. S. Bhadreswar. When one Deb Kumar alias Aloke Mozumdar came to his rescue, vou and vour associates also stabbed him on the same Public Road. Barun Chatteriep succumbed to his injuries on wav to Hospital while Deb Kumar alias Aloke Mozumdar expired at Chandernagore Hospital due to the injuries sustained by him.' The validity of these orders and the consequent detention has been challenged on various grounds to be referred to hereinafter.

2. Each of these Rules is being contested by the respondents and Mr. S.M. Sanyal along with Mr. Bhaskar Sen is appearing on behalf of the State. Constitutional validity of the Act having been challenged by the petitioners, a notice was issued by this Court on the learned Advocate General. Mr. S.C. Bose is appearing on behalf of the Advocate General.

3. Mr. Sadhan Gupta appearing on behalf of the petitioners in these three Rules has challenged the detention on three-fold around. In the first place, he has contended that the material provisions of the West Bengal Prevention of Violent Activities Act. 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) being void and unconstitutional, detention thereunder should be set aside. Secondlv he has contended that detention in each of these cases is mala fide. Lastlv he has contended that the impugned detention in each of these cases is not in accordance with law as it does not rest on appropriate grounds: according to Mr. Gupta the grounds are too remote and irrelevant and the grounds are materially vague.

4. Mr. Gupta's challenge to the constitutional validity of the said Act is based on Article 13 and Article 19 of the Constitution. Notwithstanding the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras 1950 SCR 88 : (1950) 51 Cri LJ 1383. Mr. Gupta has contended that the provisions of the said Act are insticiable under Article 19 of the Constitution and as these Provisions infringe fundamental rights of the citizen guaranteed under Article 19(1) of the Constitution but beyond the sanction of the other Sub-articles thereto, they must be held to be void. To be more precise the substance of Mr. Gupta's contention is that the restrictions imposed by the provisions of the said Act on the fundamental rights are unreasonable and as such must be struck down as unconstitutional. No doubt Mr. Gupta draws inspiration for such a contention from some of the observations made by the Supreme Court in the Bank Nationalization case of R.C Cooper v. Union of India : [1970]3SCR530 . It was so long a settled law that deprivation of personal liberty of a person under a law of preventive detention comes exclusively under Articles 21 and 22 and that the reasonableness of such law, cannot be questioned under the different clauses of Article 19. Reference may be made to 1950 SCR 88 : (1950) 51 Cri LJ 1383 (supra). Ram Singh v. State of Delhi. 1951 SCR 451 : (1951) 52 Cri LJ 804 (SC) and Kochuni v. State of Madras. : [1960]3SCR887 . A controversy had. arisen over the extension of a similar Principle in case of deprivation of property coming under Article 31 of the Constitution and in some cases following the principles laid down in Gopalan's case (1950) 51 Cri LJ 1383 it was held by the Supreme Court that in cases of law providing for acquisition of property for public purposes within the meaning of Article 31 of the Constitution, such law will not be justifiable under Article 19. This latter view has since been revised by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court by its majority judgment in the Bank Nationalization case of R.C. Cooper AIR 1970 SC 564 (supra). Though no specific issue as to whether a law providing for preventive detention would be justiciable under Article 19 or not arose directly for consideration in the Bank Nationalization case before the Supreme Court some of the observations made therein have been strongly relied on by Mr. Gupta to support his submission that the earlier decision beginning from Gopalan's case (1950) 51 Cri LJ 1383 stands overruled by the majority judgment. Particular reliance has been placed on the following observations in Paragraph 64 of the judgment 'We have found it necessary to examine the rationale of the two lines of authority and determine whether there is anything in the Constitution which justifies this apparently inconsistent development of the law. In our judgment the assumption in A.K. Gopalan's case (1950) 51 Cri LJ 1383 that certain Articles in the Constitution exclusively deal with specific matters and in determining whether there is infringement of individual guaranteed rights, the object and the form of the State action alone need be considered, and effect of laws on fundamental rights of the individuals in general will be ignored cannot be accepted as correct. We hold that the validity of law which authorizes deprivation of property and a law which authorizes compulsory acquisition of property for a public purpose must be adjudged by the application of the same test.' It is. however, a. matter of controversy at the bar whether the majority judgment in the Bank Nationalizations case had really overruled the earlier views consistently maintained by the Supreme Court that Article 22 is exhaustive on the subject of preventive detention and Article 19 can have no application to such a law. On the other hand. Mr. Bose has contended that the Bank Nationalization tari Maki chute case was strictly confined only to the right of property and that the right to personal freedom was not directly involved. It appears that a similar contention was raised by the learned Attorney General before the Supreme Court itself in the case of State of West Bengal v. Asoke Dey. : 1972CriLJ1010 but the Supreme Court had not expressed itself in either wav. In our view it is not necessary to enter into this controversial issue inasmuch as even assuming that the present statute now under consideration is justifiable under Article 19 of the Constitution, we do not consider the restrictions imposed by it to be unreasonable and as such void.

5. The particular issue raised by Mr. Gupta as to whether the provisions of the statute now under consideration if tested under Article 19 of the Constitution are constitutionally valid or not is no longer res integral in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of : 1972 Cri LJ 1010 (SC) (supra). In the said case Supreme Court clearly expressed itself to the effect that assuming Article 19(1)(d) of the Constitution is attracted to the case of preventive detention, restrictions imposed by the Act on the fundamental rights of the citizens come within the sanction of Article 19 itself. Mr. Gupta has sought to distinguish this decision of the Supreme Court by submitting that the provisions of the statute were not challenged in the same light or in the same manner as done by him now before us. On the other hand, according to him in the said case the Supreme Court was only considering whether restrictions imposed by the Provisions of the statute are in the interest of the general public or not. According to him the Question of reasonableness of the restrictions was not raised or decided by the Supreme Court. We are, however, unable to distinguish the decision of the Supreme Court in the manner suggested by Mr. Gupta. On the authority of the Bank Nationalization case the validity of the different provisions of the statute now under consideration was challenged invoking in aid the provisions of Article 19. The challenge was overruled and the constitutional validity of the statute was upheld. It is difficult to concede that if the provisions of the statute did infringe some of the requirements of Article 19. the Supreme Court would have overlooked the same in upholding the validity of the statute.

6. That apart, we find little substance in the contention of Mr. Gupta that the provisions of the said Act impose any unreasonable restriction on any of the fundamental rights of the citizens. According to Mr. Gupta restriction imposed is unreasonable because (a) detention can be affected on the subjective satisfaction of minor authorities like the District Magistrate, Additional District Magistrate. Secretary or the Deputy Secretary acting on behalf of the State. (b) it provides no opportunity to assail the order even when it is based on insufficient materials or irrelevant considerations (c) it provides for deprivation of right without providing for compensation (d) it authorised illegal detention for ten weeks or at least for one month (e) it makes lawyer's help inadmissible to the detenu at the hearing before the Advisory Board and (f) it authorises detention in any place within the State of West Bengal.

7. Section 3(1) of the said Act authorises the State Government to make an order of detention in respect of a person if it is satisfied that such detention is necessary with a view to preventing him from actins in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or maintenance of public order. Same powers may be exercised by Dist. Magistrates. Additional Dist. Magistrates specially empowered and the Commissioner of Police. Calcutta in the presidency town of Calcutta Section 3(2) provides a statutory guidance as to what constitutes acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or maintenance of public order. Section 5 Provides for power to regulate place and conditions of detention Section 8 provides that the detenu has got to be served with the grounds of detention by the detaining authority as soon as may be after his detention and in any event within five days from the date of detention. It further Provides that the detenu shall be afforded the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order to the State Government. Section 9 provides that the State Govt. shall constitute Advisory Board or Boards each such Board consisting of three persons who are or have been or are qualified to be appointed as Judges of a High Court and the Chairman of the Board shall be a person who is or has been a Judge of a High Court. Under Section 10 in every case where a detention order has been made the State Government shall within thirty days from the date of detention make a re-ferrous to the Advisory Board and place before it the grounds on which the order has been made and the representation, if any, made by the person affected by the order and in appropriate cases the report under Section 3(4). Section 11 provides that the Advisory Board after considering the materials before it and after hearing the detenu if it is considered necessary and in all cases where the detenu concerned desires to be heard submit its report to the State Government specifying whether in its opinion there is or is not sufficient cause for detention of the person concerned. Section 11 further, authorises the Board to call for any further information as it may deem necessary. Section 11(4) excludes representation by a lawyer and makes the proceedings before the Advisory Board confidential except the report. Section 12 provides that where the Advisory Board reports that there is in its opinion no sufficient cause for detention the order shall be revoked but where the opinion is expressed otherwise the State Government may confirm the detention for such period as it thinks. Fit but subject to the overall limits of twelve months from the date of detention as provided for by Section 13, Section 14 authorises the State Government to revoke or modify a detention order but Sub-section (2) imposes a bar to the effect that on the revocation or expiry of a detention order no fresh order can be made under the Act except on fresh grounds. Section 15 provides for temporary release of persons undergoing detention. These are the material Provisions reference to which may be necessary to consider the submissions made by Mr. Gupta.

8. It must first be noted that the provisions as aforesaid strictly adhere to the constitutional mandate both in respect of substantive provisions and procedural provisions. Article 22 of the Constitution explicitly envisages preventive detention. Article 246 read with entry 3 list III seventh Schedule authorises passing of law relating to preventive detention for reasons connected with the security of the State, the maintenance of public, order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community. Thus substantive Provision for Preventive detention for the security of the State or maintenance of Public order is clearly within the sanction of the Constitution itself. Next Article 22 of the Constitution had laid down a broad outline of the procedural safeguard in matters of preventive detention. The provisions of the statute now under consideration strictly adhere to such requirements of the Constitution, Such provisions cannot be held to be inconsistent with Article 19 inasmuch as the Constriction could not have sanctioned anything inconsistent with its other provisions. This being the position, we are of the opinion that there is great substances in the contention of Mr. Bose that the Provisions of the statute must be presumed to impose reasonable restrictions within the meaning of Article 19. It is reasonable as it is well within the limits sanctioned by the Constitution.

9. Mr. Gupta has strangely relied on a decision of this Court in the case of Sunil Kumar Bose v. State. AIR 1950 Calcutta 274 : (1950) 51 Cri LJ 1110(SB) in contending that a provision which authorises detention on the subjective satisfaction of a minor authority cannot be considered to be reasonable. It should, however, be noted that on the provisions of the statute now under consideration though the satisfaction is subjective it is well guided. Not only is the satisfaction to be that the detention is necessary with a view to preventing the detenu from acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State or maintenance of public order, but Section 3(2) further clarifies what are the acts on the part of the detenu which constitute acting in such manner. Therefore, authority is not arbitrary but is well restricted. Further in our opinion the view expressed by this Court, in the decision relied on by Mr. Gupta stands materially overruled by the Supreme Court in a number of decisions where it has been held that vesting of authority in particular officers for taking prompt action under exceptional circumstances entirely on their own responsibility or personal satisfaction is not necessarily unreasonable. Such a principle is clearly laid down in the cases of Virendra v. State of Punjab : [1958]1SCR308 , Gurbachan Singh v. State of Bombay : 1952CriLJ1147 ; Hari Khemu Gawalli v. Deputy Commissioner of Police. Bombay : 1956CriLJ1104 . Even Mr. Justice Fazl Ali in his dissenting indictment in Gopalan's case and Mr. Justice Mukherjee in N.B. Khare's case : [1950]1SCR519 agreed on principle to this view. Under the present statute power to be exercised on subjective satisfaction is restricted to the State Government, the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate specially empowered and the Commissioner of Police within the presidency town. There can be no dispute that such authorities apart from trip State Government itself who are so vested with the power are officials who are directly in charge of maintaining law and order within their respective jurisdiction and they would be the best persons to adjudge who are the persons who are acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State or maintenance of Public order. The power exercised is both emergent and preventive. There can be no dispute that unless immediate action is taken under the provisions of this Act much of its object and utility would be totally frustrated. If this is the position vesting of the authority on the State Government or on responsible officers vested with the responsibility of maintaining law and order cannot be considered to be unreasonable more so when Section 3(4) provides that no order when passed by a District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate specially empowered or the Commissioner of Police shall remain in force for more than twelve days unless approved by the State Govt. The action of the State Government in its turn is subject to review by the Advisory Board and the statute provides that such reference has got to be made within a month and the decision by the Board has got to be taken within ten weeks. On the constitution of the Advisory Board there is no doubt that such review is quite independent, fair and impartial. Taking all these circumstances into consideration we are unable to hold that simply because the power to be exercised has been vested on the subjective satisfaction of the State Government and its officials, the provision isunreasonable. We also find no merit in the suggestion of Mr. Gupta that the statute provides no opportunity to assail the order when based on insufficient materials or irrelevant considerations. The question of sufficiency of the grounds for detention is to be gone into by the Advisory Board in every case and Section 12 provides that the person detained is to be given every opportunity to satisfy the Board that the grounds are not sufficient for taking any action against him under the statute. It is no doubt true that the statute does not contemplate any judicial review by a Court of law but in our view the nature of the Dower to be exercised is such that any judicial review by a Court of law would be wholly inappropriate to the object of the statute. The Act provides for Preventive detention limited to a Period not exceeding twelve months to be taken only in emergent circumstances and within the limits of the statute. Authority for taking such action if conferred on the subjective satisfaction of the Government itself or responsible officers thereof but subject to a review by an independent Board, cannot be struck down on the ground that there is no sufficient safeguard for the citizens. Mere absence of judicial review by a Court of law would not make the provision unreasonable. Similarly it is difficult to accent the contention that the Act provides no opportunity to assail an order when based on irrelevant considerations. An order based on such consideration is not an order under the Act and would be ultra vires the statute. Citizens' right to move this Court or the Supreme Court against such detention is well known. Therefore it is unnecessary to make any provision in the statute providing any forum for assailing an order on such grounds.

10. Next it has been contended by Mr. Gupta that when the statute provides for deprivation of personal liberty in the wider interest of the general public like the law providing for deprivation of property there should have been provision for compensation and absence of such a provision must lead to the conclusion that the restriction imposed is not reasonable in character. This is an ingenious contention seeking to extend the principles underlying Article 31 to legislations providing for preventive detention. Constitution by itself provides no sanction for such a view. It should be noted that unlike the cases of acquisition of property in Public interest it is not a case where a citizen is deprived of his personal liberty for no fault of his own. Here it is only when a citizen abuses his liberty and affects the wider public interest i.e. security of the State or public order that he suffers the deprivation. He cannot expect to derive material benefit by wav of compensation out of his own wrongful acts and abuse of his liberty. Unlike the cases of acquisition or requisition. State gains no material benefit by putting a man to preventive detention. He is detained only to prevent him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the society. Such detention calls for no payment of compensation.

11. Mr. Gupta next contends that under the Provisions of the statute a person can be put to illegal detention with impunity at least for a period of ten weeks or a month from the date of detention. According to him if the State Government or the authorities specified in Section 3(3) choose to misuse their powers there is no protection to the citizens except from the Advisory Board, But reference to such Board may be made at any time within one month; review by such Board can be made at any time within ten weeks from the date of detention. Therefore Mr. Gupta contends that no remedy is available to such a detenu until a reference is made to the Advisory Board or the Board reviews the case of his detention. This contention proceeds on an assumption that the authorities acting under Section 3 would be abusing its power and not using the same. It is however, well settled that no law should be condemned only because the power conferred thereunder may be abused by the authorities on whom the power has been conferred. Further it is difficult to think that the citizens have no right or opportunity to challenge such an action taken on abuse of powers. Their right to move this Court or the Supreme Court is always open and the citizens would be entitled to all Protection from this Court against such action. Furthermore when the action is taken by the authorities other than the State Government itself such action is subject to review by the State Government under Sub-section (4) of Section 3 within twelve days. Therefore we find no merit in the contention that the statute provides for such Dowers as when abused leaves no scope for any remedy.

12. Next ground on which Mr. Gupta assails the statute as unreasonable is the denial of representation by a lawyer before the Advisory Board. It is undoubtedly true that Section 11(4) specifically rules out representation by a lawyer before the Advisory Board. But in our view denial of such representation need not necessarily make the provision unreasonable and more so when the constitution itself envisages such exclusion. On the scheme of the Act the Advisory Board is only to review the facts on the basis whereof action has been taken and the representation of the detenu to come to its decision as to whether there exists sufficient cause for his detention. Board is not called upon to record any evidence or to furnish any reason or deliver any judgment. The proceeding before the Board does not involve any complex adjudication of any complicated question of law and facts. Absence of a lawyer in such a proceeding would not in our view prejudice the detenu in his defence. It should be remembered that limited powers are exercised in emergent circumstances and as such the independent check and review provided for do not contemplate any protracted proceeding as in a Court with the assistance of a lawyer. Exclusion of representation by a lawyer in such a proceeding does not impair the detenu's right to ventilate his grievance before such a Board.

13. The last aspect of Mr. Gupta's contention is that when Section 5 of statute authorises detention in any place within the State of West Bengal irrespective of the convenience of the detenu or his relations it must be held that it imposes unreasonable restriction on the citizens' fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 19. On our findings made hereinbefore the deprivation of such right within the limited circumstances provided for by the Act is reasonable and within the sanction of the statute. So that if the deorivA-1ion itself is reasonable the place of detention is wholly immaterial. Moreover, a Person who by his wrongful acts had invited a preventive action cannot reasonably dictate any choice as to the place of his detention. On the conclusions as above we must overrule the contention of Mr. Gupta that the provisions of the statute in any manner impose any unreasonable restriction on any of the rights guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution.

14. Mr. Gupta had next referred to the objects and reasons of the statute and has contended that the provisions as enacted are wholly beyond such object. On a fair reading of the object and reasons, however, it is not Possible to accept, this contention. The object and the reasons are explicit enough to contemplate preventive action against naxalites and antisocial elements. The preamble of the statute provides that it is an Act to provide for detention with a view to preventing violent activities and matters connected therewith. The substantive provision of Section 3 in our view is well within the object of the enactment itself. In this view this contention of Mr. Gupta is also overruled.

15. The second contention of Mr. Gupta is that the impugned orders of detention are not bona fide. In the case of Rabindra Chakravarty petitioner's case is that the detenu was falsely implicated in two criminal cases referred to in the grounds. In one he was discharged on final report and in the other he was released on bail. It is claimed that the detenu was so falsely implicated by the police as the police in collusion with antisocial elements carried on or abetted large scale smuggling of rice through a check post situate at Chandernagore station to which the detenu and other local people protested. It is claimed that the impugned order of detention was imposed on him by the Police out of grudge. There is no specific allegation of malice as against the detaining authority and the allegations made are themselves too vague. In the case of Sujit Kumar Mukherjee the petitioner's allegation is that the police had started two criminal cases against the detenu falsely. In one case he was not arrested at all and in the other he surrendered and was released on bail. In such circumstances it is claimed that the order of detention is not bona fide. In the case of Ajit Kumar Mukherjee the allegation of the petitioner is that the detenu was never arrested or suspected in either of the two criminal cases to which the grounds relate and it is claimed that the detenu had been maliciously put to preventive detention. In the case of Sujit and Ajit there is also no specific allegation of malice as against the detaining authority and the other allegations made do not at all make out a case that the detaining authority passed the orders in mala fide exercise of his powers. Grounds are same in all the three cases and an affidavit has been filed by the detaining authority himself in the case of Rabindra Chakravarty. The detaining authority in his affidavit has specifically denied that the order had been passed out of any improper motive. He has further denied that the grounds are false. In paragraph 13 he has stated that the grounds are very much real and that the materials placed at his disposal and duly considered by him clearly establish detenus' incriminating role in the acts incorporated in the grounds. It is settled law that this Court cannot enter into any adjudication as to truth or falsehood of the grounds. It is for the detaining authority to come to a bona fide satisfaction of his own in this respect. The detenu has a right to agitate the point before the Advisory Board. This being the position there being no specific allegation of malice as against the detaining authority it is not possible to accept the contention of Mr. Gupta in this respect even on the face of the allegations made in the three applications. That apart in the case of Rabin Chakravarty there is specific denial by the detaining authority and an assertion by him that he considered the grounds to be substantial. We have no reason to respect the case made out by the detaining authority. In the result, we must hold that no case of malice has been made out.

16. The last contention of Mr. Gupta is that the grounds are partly too remote and irrelevant and partly vague. Here the detention orders have been passed in July, 1971. The two incidents referred to in the grounds are respectively dated 13.2.71 and 12.5.71. It is not possible to think that in point of time these acts could have no proximate relation to the power exercised or could not have been taken into consideration for arriving at the necessary satisfaction. Mr. Gupta suggested that the acts alleged in the first around do not answer the descriping of Section 3(2) of the Act and as such it is wholly irrelevant to the exercise of powers under the Act. Such a contention appears to us to be wholly desparate. Allegations made option of any offence within the mean in ground No. 1 is that the detenu and his associates attempted to murder one Tushar Bhattacharjee by drowning him into the water of the river Saraswati and for fulfilling this object and preventing intervention by local people the detenu and his associates threatened them with pipe-guns. In our reading these allegations, if true, constitute three offences all of which come within the Section 3(2) of the Act. In the first place, it is an attempted murder of Tushar Bhattacharjee punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding ten years under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. Then it is criminal intimidation with threat to cause death or grievous hurt punishable with imprisonment for a term of seven years under the second part of Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Thirdly, it is an offence under the Arms Act. Therefore, we are unable to accept the contention of Mr. Gupta that the grounds are either remote or in any way irrelevant for the Powers exercised.

17. Next submission of Mr. Gupta on this point is that the grounds are vague. According to him grounds are vague as they do not give better particulars about the unlawful assembly. though some of the weapons used have been named others have not been, the name of the public road on which the incident took place has not been disclosed, particulars of local people and associates have not been furnished, particulars of the field near the river Saraswati as in ground No. 1 have not been furnished. In our view vagueness or otherwise of the grounds cannot be adjudged by examining parts of the grounds in isolation. It is always possible to ask for or Provide even still more better particulars about the facts alleged but absence of such better particulars need not necessarily make the grounds vague. Vagueness has to be tested from the Point of view of the detenus' right to make a representation so that if the grounds as served do not afford a real opportunity to the detenu to understand or appreciate the true allegations made against him and leave him in the position of making a bare general denial, then only it can be said that the grounds are vague. Examining the grounds from that standard we find no vagueness in the grounds. The first grounds speaks of an unlawful assembly of which the detenu and his associates were members they were armed with daggers and other deadly weapons they assaulted Tushar Bhattacharjee and Asis Bhattacharjee on the public road at Bamunpara. Khalisani, P.S. Bhadreswar, dragged them in a field near river Saraswati at Subhas Palli and plunged them into the water to kill them: they threatened the local People with pipe-suns when such people protested against his illegal acts. Particulars of the unlawful assembly have all been set out. In our view it is not necessary to specify each and every weapon used by the members of such an unlawful assembly. It is clear that they were armed with daggers and pipe-guns. Non mention of the name of the public road does not make the allegations vague because in municipal towns unlike city of Calcutta places are known more by the localities than by the name of the road. Such is also the case with the field which has been specified to be the one at Subhas Palli near the river Saraswati. It is true that the names of the local people threatened have not been set out but non mention of their names does not render the allegation incapable of being appreciated. It may not have been possible for the custodians of law and order to know the names of persons assembled at such places of occurrences. The allegations set out in the second ground are similarly specific enough for being understood by a person against whom such allegations are made. This being the position, we are unable to hold that either of the ground is so vague or indefinite as to render the detention illegal.

18. On the conclusions as above all the points raised by Mr. Gupta in support of these Rules must fail and are overruled.

19. The applications fail and the Rules are discharged.

N.C. Mukherji J.

20. I agree.


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