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2014 (5) TMI 288

Head Note:
Order of detention - Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974, (COFEPOSA) - delay in passing the orders - Held that:- We must bear in mind that distinction exists between the delay in making of an order of detention under a law relating to preventive detention like COFEPOSA and the delay in complying with procedural safeguards enshrined under Article 22(5) of the Constitution. In view of the factual scenario as aforesaid, we are of the opinion that the order of detention is not fit to be quashed on the ground of delay in passing the same. The conclusion which we have reached is in tune with what has been observed by this Court in the case of M. Ahamed kutty v. Union of India, [1990 (1) TMI 72 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA]

Undue and unexplained delay in execution of the order of detention vitiates it, but in the facts of the present case, it cannot be said that such delay has occurred. As stated earlier, the order of detention dated 6th of May, 2013 was served on the detenu on 11th of June, 2013. It is expected of the detaining authority to take recourse to ordinary process at the first instance for service of the order of detention on a detenu and it is only after the order of detention is not served through the said process that recourse to the modes provided under Section 7 of the COFEPOSA are to be resorted.

Here, in the present case, that occasion did not arise as the order of detention was served on the detenu on 11th of June, 2013. Therefore, in our opinion, the order of detention cannot be said to have been vitiated on this ground also.

We cannot expect the detaining authority to know each and every detail concerning the detenu in different parts of the country. Not only this, the conditions imposed while granting bail to the detenu which we have reproduced above in no way restrains him from continuing with his prejudicial activity or the consequences, if he continues to indulge. We are in agreement with the High Court that the bail order passed by the trial court in Andhra Pradesh is not a crucial and vital document and the omission by the detaining authority to consider the same has, in no way affected its subjective satisfaction.

There is no error in the order of detention and the order passed by the High Court, refusing to quash the same. - Decided against the appellant.


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