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Kamala v/s The State represented by its: The Secretary to Government (Home) Prohibition & Excise Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- AT HOME INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17211DL2001PTC112255

Company & Directors' Information:- V HOME PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2001PTC109331

Company & Directors' Information:- G. P. HOME PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U70102MH2011PTC213056

    H.C.P. No. 2829 of 2019

    Decided On, 30 June 2020

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.M. SUNDRESH & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE D. KRISHNAKUMAR

    For the Petitioner: D. Mario Johnson, Advocate. For the Respondents: R. Prathap Kumar, Addl. Public Prosecutor.



Judgment Text


(Prayer: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to issue a writ of habeas corpus to call for the records of pertaining to the order of detention dated 26.11.2019 passed by the second respondent in No.812/BCDFGISSSV/2019 and quash the same and produce the detenu, Vincent Paulraj, S/o Ravikumar, aged about 26 years, before this Court and set him at liberty and the detenu now confined in Central Prison-II, Puzhal, Chennai.)

M.M. Sundresh, J.

1. The petitioner is the grand mother of the detenu viz.,Vincent Paulraj, S/o Ravikumar, aged about 26 years. The detenu has been detained by the second respondent by his order in Memo No. 812/BCDFGISSSV/2019 dated 26.11.2019, holding him to be a "Goonda", as contemplated under Section 2(f) of Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982. The said order is under challenge in this Habeas Corpus Petition.

2. We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondents. We have also perused the records produced by the Detaining Authority.

3. Though several grounds have been raised in the Habeas Corpus Petition, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner would mainly focus her argument on the ground that there is gross violation of procedural safeguards, which would vitiate the detention. The learned counsel, by placing authorities, submitted that the representation made by the petitioner was not considered on time and there was an inordinate and unexplained delay.

4. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor opposed the Habeas Corpus Petition. He would submit that though there was delay in considering the representation, on that score alone, the impugned detention order cannot be quashed. According to the learned Additional Public Prosecutor, no prejudice has been caused to the detenu and thus, there is no violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India.

5. The Detention Order in question was passed on 26.11.2019. The petitioner made a representation on 14.12.2019. Thereafter, remarks were called for by the Government from the Detaining Authority on 07.01.2020. The remarks were duly received on 13.01.2020. Thereafter, the Government considered the matter and passed the order rejecting the petitioner's representation on 20.01.2020.

6. It is the contention of the petitioner that there was a delay of 6 days in submitting the remarks by the Detaining Authority, of which 2 days were Government Holidays and hence there was an inordinate delay of 4 days in submitting the remarks. It is the further contention of the petitioner that the remarks were received on 13.01.2020 and there was delay of 7 days in considering the representation by the Hon'ble Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise Department after the Deputy Secretary dealt with it, of which 5 days were Government Holidays, hence, there was a delay of 2 days in considering the representation.

7. In Rekha vs. State of Tamil Nadu (2011 (5) SCC 244), the Honourable Supreme Court has held that the procedural safeguards are required to be zealously watched and enforced by the Courts of law and their rigour cannot be allowed to be diluted on the basis of the nature of the alleged activities undertaken by the detenu.

8. In Sumaiya vs. The Secretary to Government (2007 (2) MWN (Cr.) 145), a Division Bench of this Court has held that the unexplained delay of three days in disposal of the representation made on behalf of the detenu would be sufficient to set aside the order of detention.

9. In Tara Chand vs. State of Rajasthan and others, reported in 1980 (2) SCC 321, the Honourable Supreme Court has held that any inordinate and unexplained delay on the part of the Government in considering the representation renders the very detention illegal.

10. In the subject case, admittedly, there is an inordinate and unexplained delay of 20 days in submitting the remarks and unexplained delay of 4 days in considering the representation by the Hon'ble Minister for Electricity, Prohibition

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and Excise Department. The impugned detention order is, therefore, liable to be quashed. 11. In the result, the Habeas Corpus Petition is allowed and the order of detention in 812/BCDFGISSSV/2019 dated 26.11.2019, passed by the second respondent is set aside. The detenu, namely, Vincent Paulraj, S/o Ravikumar, aged about 26 years, is directed to be released forthwith unless his detention is required in connection with any other case.
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