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Sm. Rina Nandi Vs. the State of West Bengal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ56
AppellantSm. Rina Nandi
RespondentThe State of West Bengal and ors.
Cases ReferredRam Bahadur v. State of Bihar
Excerpt:
- bimal chandra basak, j.1. this application for a writ of habeas corpus is directed against an order of detention passed by the commissioner of police, calcutta the respondent no. 2 herein on the 2nd of december, 1974 in exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (1) (a) (ii) read with sub-section (2) of section 3 of the maintenance of internal security act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the said act) the said order was passed with a view to preventing the detenu. shyamal nandi, from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the state. the incidents relied up- on the grounds of detention served on the detenu are as follows : (1) you being a leader of the revolutionary communist unity centre (marxist-leninist), now communist unity centre (marxist-leninist), in west bengal.....
Judgment:

Bimal Chandra Basak, J.

1. This application for a writ of Habeas Corpus is directed against an order of detention passed by the Commissioner of Police, Calcutta the respondent No. 2 herein on the 2nd of December, 1974 in exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (1) (a) (ii) read with Sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) The said order was passed with a view to preventing the detenu. Shyamal Nandi, from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State. The incidents relied up- on the grounds of detention served on the detenu are as follows :

(1) You being a leader of the Revolutionary Communist Unity Centre (Marxist-Leninist), now Communist Unity Centre (Marxist-Leninist), in West Bengal along with others including Biswanath Mukherji of Khardah attended a secret meeting of the said party held in a house at Seal's Garden Lane, Calcutta on 16-9-1974 wherein you along with other participants of the meeting including the said Biswanath Mukherji deeded organise the people, particularly, the peasants. to start armed guerilla .action in West Bengal, particularly in rural areas, with the avowed object of capturing the State power by overthrowing the present lawfully established Govt. in the State.

(2) You were arrested on 12-10-1974 from your residence at 23, Paikpara Row, Calcutta when a large number of leaflets, booklets, circulars, etc., including those mentioned below were seized from your possession on the said date (12-10-74).

(i) Copy of a printed English booklet captioned 'Draft path of Indian Revolution'', issued by the Andhra Pradesh Communist Committee (Revolutionaries), inter alia, declaring that the advanced elements of working class should help the peasantry in organising armed struggle and directing the cadres that such armed struggle should be started in the countryside and after liberating the countryside they should go over to cities and towns to liberate the people and thereby to undermine the lawfully established Government in the State,

(ii) Copy of a cyclostyled English document captioned 'On the method of work' inter alia, directing the cadres of the .party to build up a people's army and establish base areas in the rural belt and to encircle the cities from the countryside by waging a relentless armed struggle and ultimately to capture the political power in the country,

(iii) Copy of a cyclostyled English document dated 15-5-74, entitled 'Task of the Communists', amongst other things, directing the party activities to wage war in guerilla method at the initial stage in order to build stable base areas and broaden their jurisdiction more and more and to develop the same into stages of mobile and regular warfare by forming the people's army with the object of seizing the State power.

Your above activities are prejudicial to the Security of the State and if you are left free and unfettered, you are likely to continue to undermine the Security of the State in similar manner as aforesaid

You are hereby informed by virtue of Section 8 (2) of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 (Act 26 of 1971) that disclosure of facts, other than those already disclosed above, is considered to be against public interest.

2. Mr. Acharya, the learned Advocate appearing in support of the Rule, firstly, contended before us that the grounds are vague and that the detenu was prevented from making an effective representation as a result thereof. In this context he pointed out that in the first ground it has been stated that the secret meeting was held 'in a house at Seal's Garden Lane, Calcutta'. According to Mr. Acharya, such expression is vague and more particulars should have been furnished in respect of the house where such meeting is alleged to have taken place. According to him the number of 'the house or any other description to identify the house eg. the name of the owner or the tenant of the said house should have been specified. According to Mr. Acharya, in the absence of those particulars the detenu was not in a position to make an effective representation. In this context Mr. Acharya has also drawn our attention to the supplementary affidavit affirmed on behalf of the petitioner wherein it has been alleged that the Seal's Garden Lane is a big lane and consists of many houses with their respective Municipal numbers. It is alleged that there are altogether 90 houses in that lane. Similarly, in respect of the first ground it was stated that though the date was specified as 2nd December. 1974, the time at which such meeting is alleged to have taken place had not been specified. According to Mr Acharya, if the time of the alleged meeting had been specified, then he could have made representations and produced sufficient materials before the authorities concerned to the effect that at the relevant time he was present elsewhere and could not have attended the said meeting. In this context Mr. Acharya relied on a certificate granted by the Divisional Manager, Accounts Department. Life Insurance Corporation of India, Calcutta Divisional Office a copy of which has been annexed to the .petition. In the said Certificate it has been stated that the detenu, who was an Assisant in the Accounts Department of the said Office, was present in the office on 16th of September. 1974 as per attendance Register. Mr. Acharya submitted that in the absence of the specific f-me being mentioned in the said grounds he could not produce any other document. Regarding the second ground also, Mr. Acharya similarly sought to contend that the grounds are vague inasmuch as, though the date of the incident has been given as 12th October, 1974 but the particular time has not been specified. It was similarly argued by Mr. Acharya that if the time had been specified the detenu could have made an effective representation against his detention. It was further submitted that the use of the words 'including those mentioned below'' is vague. For all these reasons Mr. Acharya contended that the grounds are vague and that the detenu was prevented from making an effective representation.

3. We have carefully examined the contentions of Mr. Acharya. Under Section 8 (1) of the said Act when a person is detained in pursuance of a detention order, the authority making the order shall communicate to him the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order. It is to be pointed out that Sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the said Act provides that nothing in sub-section. (I) shall require the authority to disclose the facto which it considers to be against the public interest to disclose. In the present case, in the grounds of detention itself reference was made by the detaining authority to Sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the said Act and it was stated that disclosure of facts other than those already disclosed in the said grounds was considered to be against public interest This position was reiterated by the detaining authority in his affidavits affirmed in this proceeding. It is also to be remembered that in the present case the order has been passed on the ground of security of State. Having regard to above, we are unable to hold that the grounds are vague. Similar situation arose in the case of Vakil Singh y. State of Jammu & Kashmir reported in : 1975CriLJ7 wherein also the order of detention was made on the ground of 'security of State.'

4. Apart from the question of Sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the said Act, we are also not satisfied that the grounds served on the detenu suffer from vagueness as contended by Mr. Acharya. It is now well settled that the grounds must be communicated in clear and unambiguous terms giving as much particulars as will facilitate making an effective representation in order to satisfy the authorities concerned1 that the order is unfounded or invalid. Ajit Kumar Kabiraj v. District Magistrate Birbhum reported in : [1974]2SCR124 . The grounds must be read as a whole. One portion or word cannot be read isolatedly out of its context. Arum Kumar Ghose v. State of West Bengal, reported in : [1973]91ITR544(SC) , Netai Rada Saha v. State of West Bengal, reported in : 1972CriLJ1000 . Read as a whole they must be reasonably clear and self-sufficient to bring home to the detenu the knowledge of the grounds of his detention. Apart from conclusion of facts 'grounds' have a factual constituent also and they must contain the pith and substance of primary facts but not subsidiary facts or evidential details. Vakil Singh v. State of Jammu & Kashmir, reported in : 1975CriLJ7 .

5. The grounds mean all the basic facts and materials which have been taken into account by the detaining authority in making the order of detention and on which, therefore, the order of detention is based. Khudiram Das v. State of West Bengal, reported in : [1975]2SCR832 . Some vagueness regarding inessential or inconsequential matters cannot affect the validity of an order of detention. Dwarkadas v. State of Jammu & Kashmir reported in : 1957CriLJ316 . A detenu is not entitled to know the evidence or the source of information Har Jas v State of Punjab, reported in : 1973CriLJ1602 . Applying this test we are satisfied that the grounds served on the detenu are not vague. The requirement as to the communication of all essential constituents of the grounds were complied with in the present case. The basic facts, as distinguished from factual details, were incorporated in the materials communicated to the detenu. In respect of the first ground the detenu was informed about the date and the place of incident. The detenu was described as a leader of a particular party. The name of the one of the associates has been given. It was described as a secret meeting The decision taken in that secret meeting was also communicated in the ground. So far as the second ground is concerned, the date and the place of the incident has been given. Detailed particulars about the seized books, leaflets etc. have also been specified. The facts which were not disclosed were not basic facts and non-disclosure of the same could not have affected the detenu's right of making an effective representation. Further the details which were not disclosed were not essential constituents of the grounds of detention. The basic materials and the substance of the primary facts were given in a clear and unambiguous term which was sufficient to enable the detenu to make an effective representation. For the .foresaid reasons we reject this contention of Mr. Acharya.

6. It was next contended by Mr. Acharya that ground No 2 was not germane to the object of the order. It was submitted by Mr. Acharya that the substance of the allegations made in the said ground was that when he was arrested on 12th of October 1974 large number of booklets. leaflets and circulars etc.. were seized from his possession. Mr. Acharya submitted that even if the booklets related to some matters which are prejudicial to the security of the State, mere possession of the same by the detenu cannot be sufficient for the detaining authority to reach the subjective satisfaction that the detenu has been 'acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State.' It was submitted by Mr. Acharya that it has not been alleged that he was either the writer or the publisher of the said booklets etc Accordingly, mere possession as such cannot be germane to the object of the order of detention. On behalf of the respondents it was admitted that mere possession without anything else would not attract the 'security of the State.' But it was submitted that we should not read the ground No. 2 isolatedly but we should read it in the context of the ground No. I which was an earlier incident. It was submitted on behalf of the respondents that we should read the ground No. 2 and No. I as a composite ground and as a part of a series of incidents It was submitted that read as such it would be clear that the possession of the books was under the circumstances germane to the object of the order.

7. It is to be considered first whether, and if so when, we can test the validity of a ground (whether on the question of vagueness or on the question of relevancy) in the light of some other ground or grounds of detention. The second question is whether such interlinking is possible in the facts and circumstances of this case. The third question is whether the ground No. 2 is to be held relevant due to such 'interlinking'.

8. In the case of Sudhir Kumar Saha v. Police Commr. Calcutta reported in : 1970CriLJ843 three incidents were relied on in the ground of detention. It was held that the three incidents mentioned in the grounds were stray incidents spread over a period of one year and four months. In this context it was stated that these three incidents could not be interlinked. Though it was held in that case that the grounds did not amount to a disturbance of the maintenance of the public order, this decision suggests that in the facts and circumstances of a particular case interlinking of ground is possible for the purpose of ascertaining the validity of a particular ground.

9. The case of Nishikanta Mandal V. State of West Bengal reported in : 1972CriLJ904 is more to the point. In that case the order of detention was passed under West Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act, 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the 1970 Act) There were two incidents referred to in the grounds of detention. The first incident took place on 12th of February. 1971 when the detenu with his associates being arnica with bombs and other lethal weapons attacked S.D.O. Bangaon and his guard by hurling bombs and thereby caused injuries to the guard constable when they came out on hearing sounds of explosion of bombs near the quarters of the Magistrate 1st Class, Bongaon. The substance of the second incident narrated in the grounds of detention was that on 23rd of February, 1971, on search of a house, the Police recovered three high explosive bombs and some explosive materials from the detenu and his associates' possession. It was argued on behalf of the detenu that the grounds of detention were not germane to the object for which a person could be ordered to be detained under the Act in question. The Supreme Court considered the effect of Section 3 of the Act in question with particular reference to Clause (d) of Sub-section (2) thereof which provided that for the purpose of Sub-section (1) the expression 'acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State or the Maintenance of Public Order'' inter alia meant:

Committing or instigating any person to commit, any offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term extending to 7 years or more or any offence under the Arms Act, 1950 or the Explosive Substances Act, 1908, where the commission of such offence disturbs or is likely to disturb public order.

It was observed that it was manifest from the above definition that the expression 'acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order' would include the commission of an offence under the Explosive Substances Act when the commission of such offence disturbs or is likely to disturb public order. Regarding the incident of 12th of February, 1971 it was pointed out that this clearly brings the case within the ambit of Clause (2) of Sub-section (3) of the Act in question. Regarding the second incident, it was pointed out. that the fact that three high explosive bombs and explosive materials were recovered from the possession of the petitioner and his associates on search of house, it was clear that the petitioner was . guilty of an offence under the Explosive Substances Act. It was observed that it was obvious that the use of high explosive bombs was likely to disturb public order. In this context the earlier incident was referred to and it was pointed out that it gives a clear indication of the propensity of the petitioner to use and explode such bombs. This case is a clear indication that in a given circumstances the Court may look into other incidents referred to in the grounds for the purpose of finding out whether the impugned ground was germane to the object of the detention. The facts of the case before us are also somehow similar to the facts of the said case. Here also certain booklets etc., which advocated certain actions prejudicial to the security of the State were seized from the possession of the detenu. Following the ratio of this case, the writ petition in Babul Chandra v. State of West Bengal, reported in : 1974CriLJ1314 was dismissed. The order made in this case and the ground served on the detenu are similar in all material aspects to the order made and grounds served on the detenu concerned in the other writ petition.

10. In the case of Samaresh Chandra v. District Magistrate, Burdwan. : 1973CriLJ464 . there were two grounds. It was urged that both grounds are vague because the expression '.political opponents' used therein had not been explained with precision. In this context it was pointed out by their Lordships that this contention was not correct inasmuch as in ground No. 1 it was clearly stated that the petitioner and his associates belong to C. P. I. (M), with a view to reduce their political opponents to submission and passivity, being armed with lethal weapons etc., stabbed Shri Jiten Choudhury, a driver of D.S.P. (Durgapur Steel Project) Bus belonging to the C.P.I, (emphasis supplied). Accordingly it was held that the political parties are, therefore, quite clearly and specifically referred to in ground No. 1 and it cannot be said that the petitioner was kept in the dark or that he was unable to understand the reference to the political opponents in this ground and was. therefore, not in a position to make a proper, effective representation. In ground No. 2, there was no reference to C.P.I, such as is found in ground No. 1. In this context their Lordships held as follows:

But in our opinion ground No. 2 has to be read and understood in the light of the reference made to the political opponents in ground No. 1. The two grounds have to be read together in this respect as they are clearly interlinked. Reference in ground No. 2 to a series of interparty clashes on October 8, makes the position further clear. Ground No. 2 states that the petitioner's act was intended to cow down the police and the .political opponents by terror for promoting the objectives of the party to which he belonged. The petitioner's party being clearly specified in ground No. 1 which is interlinked with ground No, 2, the challenge on the ground of vagueness or ambiguity in ground No. 2 must be held to be devoid of merit.

11. The next case to be considered is the. case of Babul Mitra v. State of West Bengal, reported in : 1974CriLJ395 . Two incidents were relied upon in the grounds of detention. The allegation made in the first incident was to the effect that the detenu with his associates forced into a school and prevented the school staff from giving them any resistance with threat of violence and that they set fire to the school building as a result of which the school had to be closed down sine die. The allegations made in the second incident was to the effect that the police arrested the detenu with a bomb in his hand. It was also alleged that the detenu had also made attempt to throw the bomb on the police personnel at the time of his arrest with a view to killing them. It was held that the first ground was clearly connected with 'Public Order'. Regarding the second ground it was observed that in the preamble to the grounds of detention, it was stated that the detenu has been acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order as evidenced by the grounds 'taken separately and collectively'. In this context it was stated that accordingly it would be legitimate to assess the community impact of the second ground in the background of the first ground. It was further stated that the two grounds read together, disclose the petitioner's concerted scheme of making public institutions and public servants the target of his violence. It was further stated that this scheme sheds lights on the potentiality of the second ground. Read in such manner, it was held that the activity specified in the second ground was bound to affect public order. This decision is also an authority for the proposition that under certain circumstances we can read one ground in the context of another. It is true that in the present case the expression 'separately and collectively'' is not there in the preamble but in the body it is stated that 'above activities' of the detenu are prejudicial to the security of the State.

12. The next case to be considered is Dr. Ram Krishna Rawat v. District Magistrate of Jabbalpur, reported in : 1975CriLJ46 . In that case the particulars of the grounds specified in the grounds of detention were given in the schedule annexed thereto. In paragraph 10 of the schedule to the grounds, allegations were made 'to the effect that the detenu was responsible for organizing of a Bundh or a hunger strike. It was alleged on behalf of the detenu that organising a Bandh or a hunger strike was an innocuous act and did not by itself had any direct connection with the maintenance of public order Rejecting this contention it was held by the Supreme Court that the contents of paragraph 10 are to be read as a whole and as a part of series of incidents enumerated in the preceding paragraphs 7, 8 and 9. It was observed that the petitioner was being painted in all these incidents as the prime-mover of the gear which resulted in disturbances accompanied by violence, looting and mischief on a wide scale. It was also held that these particulars are not irrelevant to the object of detent on and that on the basis of these activities the detaining authority could reasonably gauge the tendency of the petitioner to act in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in future.

13. The last case of this series is Ram Bahadur Rai v. The State of Bihar reported in : 1975CriLJ269 . In that case, the grounds of detention served on the detenu referred to several incidents. On behalf of the State of Bihar it was argued that the ground;, of detention ought to be read as one composite document, whereas on behalf of the detenu it was contended that each one of the grounds forms a distinct and separate reason for detention and ought to be examined separately on its own merits, Commenting on ;he same, it was observed by their Lordships that considering the facts stated in the various grounds, both parties had overpitched their respective cases. It was observed that the grounds of detention do not furnish intrinsic aid to justify the conclusion that all of them are inter-related. It was further observed that nor was there any material placed before the Court from which the Court could conclude that the petitioner could be said to have had notice of such interplay of the ground on another.

14. After such detailed examination of grounds Nos. 1 and 2 their Lordships found it impossible to accept the contention on behalf of the State that the grounds Nos. 1 and 2 referred to a series of continuous events woven together by a common intention as contended on be-half of the State. It was held that the grounds Nos. 1 and 2 must be read disjunctively each one referring to a distinct episode, It was further held that one is not a sequel to the other and the validity of the two grounds has to be determined independently on the merits of each case. So far as the other' grounds are concerned, it was held that such motivation can be seen in. the incidents referred to in the other grounds. After a detailed examination of the grounds Nos. 3 to 7 it was held that the said ground may, therefore, be read legitimately as constituting a composite, inter-connected indictment comprising events which followed in quick succession as a part of the same pre-planned objective.

15. From the aforesaid decisions. it is clear that the extreme view that under no circumstances one ground may be read together with or in the context of any other ground for examination of its validity, cannot be accented. It cannot be said that in each and every case each ground must be read separately, independently and isolatedly without any reference to any other grounds. It is also clear that the other extreme view that as a matter of course all the grounds are to be read together in each and every case is also not correct. The correct approach is to follow a middle path. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Interlinking of the grounds is possible only when there is some material from which the Court can come to a conclusion that one ground is linked with the other. It is only when the two or three grounds are part of a same series of transactions or part of a common intention or motivation or one is a sequel to the other or which can be construed as a compo-osite, interconnected indictment that one ground can be read in the context of the other. When the 'rounds referred to distinct episodes and one is not a sequel to the other or do not form part of a series of continuous events woven together by a common intention the grounds must be read disjunctively and the validity of each of the grounds to be determined independently.

16. We are well aware that it is now well settled that if one ground is bad then the whole order of detention is bad inasmuch as one cannot predicate to what extent the bad ground had influenced the mind of the detaining authority and whether the detaining authority could have reached its subjective satisfaction regarding the necessity of the detention of the detenu in the absence of such bad ground. The conclusion we have arrived that in certain circumstances, for the purpose of examination of the validity of one ground, we can look into other grounds does not militate against this well settled principle. In the circumstances of a case when one ground can be interpreted with reference to another, they are really a part of a series of one transaction. To put it differently, in such a case though there are more than one ground in form, in substance there is actually only one ground. i.e. several transactions in one series. In that view of the matter the question of one around being bad the whole order of detention being bad, would not arise because the around must be read as a whole.

17. Applying this test in the facts of the -present case, we find that the purpose of the meeting mentioned in the first ground was to organise the people, particularly the peasants with the object of starting armed guerilla action in West Bengal, particularly in the rural areas with the avowed object of capturing the State power by overthrowing the present lawfully established Government in the State. Read in this light it is clear that the ground No. 2 is obviously connected with the ground No. 1. From the detailed descriptions of the booklets etc., referred to in the ground No. 2 it is clear that these also relate to organisation of armed struggle by the peasants, liberation of the countryside and thereafter liberation of the people in the cities and ultimately overthrowing the lawfully established Government in the State, thereby capturing political power. It is clear that the subject-matter of the booklets etc. referred to in he second ground have obvious connection with the object of the meeting referred to in the first ground. It is also to be remembered that the detenu is described as the leader of the group referred to in ground No I. Therefore, it is apparent that it was with the object of giving into effect the decisions taken in the meeting referred to in ground No. 1. that the booklets etc. referred to in the ground No. 2 were possessed by the detenu. Possession of these booklets etc. was part o series of one transaction. Holding of the meeting and possession of the books etc were with the common intention. In our opinion the grounds Nos. 1 and 2 are not distinct episodes but one is a sequel to the other. Accordingly, the validity of the ground No 2 before us must be determined not isolatedly or disjunctively but in the context of the ground No. 1. Both the grounds are to be read as constituting a composite, interconnected indictment and as a part of one single pre-planned objective, in our opinion the ground No. 1 is certainly germane to the object of the order. This was also not disputed by Mr. Acharya. If the second ground is read along with the first ground in the light of observations made hereinabove, we have no hesitation in holding that the second ground also has a rational relation to the subjective satisfaction regarding the prejudicial activity imputed to the petitioner. Accordingly, we reject the contention of Mr. Acharya.

18. It was next contended by Mr. Acharya that the grounds are baseless and non-existent. In this context it was alleged that the detenu never attended the alleged meeting referred to in ground No. 1 It was alleged that he joined his duties on that particular day at the Divisional Office and was present in his Office from 10 a, m, till 5 p.m. In this connection reliance was placed on a certificate issued by the Divisional Officer (A/cs.) of the said office. It was further stated that thereafter the detenu attended the chamber of his advocate from 6 p.m. to 9-30 p.m. and thereafter went home and was present at his residence thereafter on the alleged date, it is alleged that the ground No, 1 is concocted and the detenu never attended the meeting. It was further alleged that the ground No. 2 is also false and vague and that the papers and books referred to therein were never recovered from the custody of the detenu as alleged. It was also stated that the detenu had no knowledge about Biswanath Mukherjee referred to in ground No. 1. It was further stated that the detenu never acted in any manner for overthrowing the Government as alleged. In answer to the same the Commissioner of Police that is. the detaining authority has affirmed an affidavit wherein he has stated that before he made the detention order in question, he scrutinised carefully the facts, informations and materials supplying the grounds for detention. It was further stated that he was satisfied that the activities of the detenu, as mentioned in the grounds are prejudicial to the security of the Sale as envisaged under the said Act. It was further stated that after a careful consideration of all the informations, facts and materials placed before him he was personally satisfied that with a view to preventing the detenu from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State, his detention was necessary and that the instant order of detention was made without any ulterior motive ox purpose. It was denied that the detenu did not attend the meeting held on 16th September. 1974. It was not admitted that the detenu was present in his office or in the chamber of his Advocate throughout the period mentioned in the petition. It was also denied that the detenu went home and was present at his residence as alleged. In this context the statement contained in the grounds was repeated and reiterated. In connection with ground No. 2 similar stand was taken by the detaining authority.

19. Generally speaking, the facts stated in the grounds of detention are final and the Court cannot examine the veracity of the allegations made therein. The Court cannot, as a general rule go into the question of sufficiency. Samaresh Ch. Bose v. District Magistrate, Burdwan : 1973CriLJ464 ; Tarak Chakraborty v. The State. : 1974CriLJ447 ; Khagen Sarkar v. State of West Bengal AIR 1971 SC 2051 : 1971 Cri LJ 1456). However, the Court can set aside an order if it is passed mala fide or on extraneous grounds. The Court has ,nower to set aside an order of detention when the ground is baseless or non-existent. Khagen Sarkar v. State of West Beneal AIR 1971 SC 2051:1971 Cri LJ 1456); Motilal v. State of Bihar : 1969CriLJ33 ; Rameshwar Lal t. State of Bihar : [1968]2SCR505 and Dwarka Frasad v. Stale of Bihar : 1975CriLJ221 ; Barjahan Gorey v. State of West Bengal. : [1973]1SCR751 and Biram Cfaand v. State at Uttar Pradesh : 1974CriLJ817 The Court can also set aside an order when on the material available to the detaining authority, it was impossible to arrive at the conclusion that was arrived at by the detaining authority. Srilal Shaw v. State of West Bengal. : 1975CriLJ423 . Accordingly, when specific and relevant allegations are made in the petition regarding mala fide or baselessness, it is the duty of the detaining authority to affirm an affidavit dealing with the same. In such limited cases, if there is no return to the Rule, if there is no affidavit by the detaining authority controverting the allegation made in the petition, then such allegations remain uncontroverted and unanswered and the Court is bound to accept the same and hold the detention to be illegal. Sk. Hanif v. State of West Bengal AIR 1971 SC 679 : 1974 Cri LJ 606 Md. Alam v. State of West Bengal : 1974CriLJ770 ; Jagadish Prasad v. State of Bihar : 1974CriLJ764 . In the facts and circumstances of this case, having regard to the nature on the averments made in the affidavit of the detaining authority controverting the allegations made in the petition, we are unable to hold that the grounds are baseless or non-existent. Accordingly, we reject this contention of Mr. Acharya.

20. It was last argued by Mi. Acharya that the order has been made mala fide and in colourable exercise of power. In this context Mr. Acharya has relied on some averments made in the petition and the supplementary affidavits. Shortly put, the allegation of the detenu is that the detenu was and still is a trade union worker and was elected as General Secretary of the Life Insurance Workers Union, Calcutta Divisional Office. It is alleged that the detenu was an active trade union worker and owing to rivalry between two different groups of the Union, a title suit was instituted by the detenu being Title Suit No. 552 of 1974 in the City Civil Court at Calcutta wherein an order of injunction was passed on 22nd April, 1974. For alleged violation of such an order of injunction, a petition for contempt was filed on behalf of the detenu and again an order of injunction was passed on 23rd May, 1974. It is alleged that in view of such ,proceeding 'certain persons' wanted to implicate the detenu in some criminal matters. It is- further alleged that 12th October. 1974 was the date fixed for further hearing of the contempt application before the City Civil Court at Calcutta, it is alleged that on 11th October, 1974 some Police Officer from Chitpur Police Station along with several other officers came to the residence of the detenu at about 3 A. M. and searched his house where some cyclostyl-ed papers etc.. were found. It is alleged that the detenu was taken to the Chitpur Police Station and there he was told that he was arrested in connection with certain murder case. Thereafter, the detenu was implicated in another case of rioting and produced before the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta. It was further stated that the police authorities, who arrested the detenu from his house on the morning of 12th of October, 1974, seized certain documents and papers which were described to have been recovered from the possession of the detenu on 12th of October, 1974 in ground No. 2 mentioned before. It is alleged that the detaining authority had full knowledge of such seizure but they did not take any action for the purpose of passing the impugned order. It is alleged that no such action was taken because the detaining authority knew that the detenu never acted in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State. It is alleged that the petitioner was falsely implicated in these two criminal cases and that it was not possible for the police authority to harass the detenu by keeping him illegally detained for the said cases and accordingly the said cases were withdrawn. It is alleged that the order has been made mala fide because the detaining authority was not really satisfied about the part played by the detenu. In answer to this, in his affidavit the detaining authority has denied all these allegations. We have already referred to some of the relevant averments. He has stated that after being fully satisfied the order was passed by him. It was denied that the order was passed with any ulterior motive or purpose. In connection with the criminal cases it has been stated that the detaining authority had no knowledge about the same and in and event the allegation of the detenu in respect of the same are irrelevant inasmuch as the same has no connection with the order of detention Taassed in this case. It was categorically stated that the facts of none of the criminal case torn, the subject-matter of any one grounds of detention. Regarding the time taker for passing the order of detention it V'fac stated that some time was taken for analysing and studying the implication of the materials relating to the grounds of detention concerning the detenu collected by the investigating police officer. It was stated that the Commissioner of Police, Calcutta has to discharge daily a large number of statutory and administrative functions and that the detention order in the instant case was made by him as early as possible. It was specifically denied that the detaining authority had in any way acted with any mala fide intention. Having regard to the specified averments made by the detaining authority in his affidavit, it is not possible for us to hold that the order of detention was passed mala fide with any ulterior motive or in colourable exercise of the power. Accordingly, we reject this contention of Mr. Acharye

21. All the contentions, raised in support of the Rule fail. We are also satisfied that the statutory requirements and the constitutional safeguards have been duly complied with in the facts of this case. For the aforesaid reasons we dismiss the application and discharge the Rule.

22. Oral prayer for a certificate for leave to appeal to Supreme Court is rejected as no ground for the same is put forward before us by the learned advocate for the petitioner.

Sudhamay Basu, J.

23. I agree to the conclusions arrived at by my learned brother with regard to various points raised on behalf of the petitioner. Only I would like to add a few words in relation to the question whether and to what extent, in at all, interlinking of different grounds is possible My learned brother has in this connection ably considered the cases of Sudhir Saha v. The State of West Bengal reported in : 1970CriLJ843 ; Nishi Kanta Mondal v. State of West Bengal reported in : 1972CriLJ904 ; Babul Moitra v. State of West Bengal reported in : 1974CriLJ395 ; Ramkrishna Rout v District Magistrate Jabbalpur reported in : 1975CriLJ46 and Ram Bahadur Rout v. State of Bihar reported in : 1975CriLJ269 . I agree with him that the facts in Nishi Kanta Mondal's case have some resemblance to the facts in the instant case. Some of the decisions of the Supreme Court undoubtedly make it open to a Court to examine one of the grounds 'in the background of other or in the context of some earlier incidents involved in other grounds, The second ground in the present case may, therefore, be examined, as my learned brother has done, in the background of the first. The second ground by itself, to my mind, is not relevant to the object of detention but by the process of linking with the other ground it has been said to be germane. I concur I should only like to add a note of caution in definitely spelling out. till such time as the Supreme Court chooses to clearly evolve a principle or define the area, as to where, when and in what circumstances interlinking would be permissible to impair the distinctiveness of each ground. Even in the case of Ram Bahadur v. Slate of Bihar : 1975CriLJ269 , Chandrachud, J, dismissed the contention of the Advocate-General in that case that the Detaining Authority assessed the cumulative effect of the activities of the detenu while passing the order of detention founded on distinct and sepa-1 rate grounds: if any one of the grounds is vague or irrelevant, the entire order must fail. The satisfaction of the detaining authority being subjective, it is impossible to predicate whether the order of detention would have been passed in the absence of those vague or irrelevant data. This principle which ensures to the benefit of the detenu should not be allowed to be eroded more than what is strictly warranted by the decisions. In the recent case of Khudiram Das v. State of West Bengal reported in : [1975]2SCR832 Bhagawati, J. remarked that 'Human mind does not function in compartments. When it receives impression from different sources it is the totality of the impressions which goes into the making of the decision and it is not possible to analyse and dissect the impressions and predicate which impressions went into the making of the decision and which do not nor is it an easy exercise to erase the impression created by particular circumstances so as to exclude the influence of such impression in the decision making process.'

24. The above analysis of the working of human mind while, it highlights the composite nature of all incidents, on the totality of whose impressions subjective satisfaction is formed, also significantly lays down a sound foundation for the well settled principle that one off the grounds being bad, the entire order is invalidated. To my mind up-till now the principle of interlinking in this sense, i.e the totality of impressions of all the incidents in the grounds thought not explicitly stated has been the very basis for invalidating the order of detention when one of the other grounds was found to be bad. Some of the recent decisions in the process of interlinking whereby distinctiveness of the grounds are done away with, in certain circumstances, has the effect, if I may say so with respect of finding additional source of strength for a weak ground in others. This tends to negative the other principle referred to above. Again, reading one ground in the light of other grounds is a matter of interpretation but to read two or more such grounds as com- posite ones amounts to something more than mere interpretation besides disturbing the principle which has so long ensured to the benefit of the detenu. Undoubtedly all the incidents in all the grounds in their totality form the basis of the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority. In that sense they are all interlinked. But is it not for the detaining authority to choose what ground he would treat to be separate? After he lays down certain grounds to be distinct is the Court, in course of its interpretation competent to alter that? On the basis of well settled principles, prima facie, it would seem impermissible for the Court to disturb the objective basis of satisfaction and treat certain grounds to be not distinct although the detaining authority has stated them to be so. In short, in considering plural grounds, interlinking seems to have been resorted to in two ways; (i) by examining one ground in the light of another or more grounds; (ii) by treating two or more grounds, as if, they are parts of one composite ground. Difficulty is felt, as explained earlier, specially with regard to (ii) in the absence of a clear enunciation of principle and specially, as it tends to erode the well established principle, viz., if one ground is bad the entire order is invalid. Till these aspects are examined comprehensively and till the Supreme Court lays down a general principle a cautious approach seems to be warranted. It must however, be made clear that in view of the case of Ram Bahadur v. State of Bihar reported in AIR 75 SC 223 : 1975 Cri LJ 269), it must be accepted and we do so with respect that under certain circumstances two or more grounds may be treated in a composite manner.


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