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Naranjan Sigh Nathawan Versus The State Of Punjab

1952 (1) TMI 26 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Dated:- 25-1-1952 - Sastri, M. Patanjali, Mahajan, Mehr Chand, Mukherjea, B.K., Das, Sudhi Ranjan, Aiyar, N. Chandrasekhara, JJ. For The Petitoner : A.S.R. Chari, Shiv Charan Singh PATANJALI SASTRI C.J.-This is a petition under article 32 of the Constitution submitted through the Super- intendent, Central Jail, Ambala, for the issue of a writ of habeas corpus for the release of the petitioner from custody. On 5th July, 1950, the petitioner was arrested and detained under an order of the District .....

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to the person known as Naranjan Singh Nathawan, s/o Lehna Singh of village Chak Sikandar, P.S. Ramdas, Amritsar District, that with a view to prevent- ing him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State, it is necessary to make the following order: Now, therefore. in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 and section 4 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, as amended by the Preventive Detention (Amendment) Act, 1951, the Governor of Punjab hereby .....

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titioner thereupon presented this petition for his release contending that the aforesaid order was illegal inasmuch as (1) the grounds of detention communicated to him on 10th July, 1950, were "quite vague, false and imaginary" and (2) he was not furnished with the grounds on which the order dated 17th May, 1951, was based. The petition was heard ex-parte on 12th November, 1951, when this Court issued a rule nisi calling upon the respondent to show cause why the petitioner should not b .....

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mitted a supplemental petition to this Court on 28th November, 1951, challenging the validity of the last order on the ground that "it was only a device to defeat the habeas corpus petition of the petitioner in which a rule had already been issued , and he put forward an additional ground of attack on the legality of the earlier order dated 17th may, 1951, namely, that it fixed the term of detention till 31st March, 1952, before obtaining the opinion of the Advisory Board as required by sec .....

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ed 18th November, 1951. After stating that the petitioner's case was referred to and considered by the Advisory Board constituted under section 8 of the amended Act and that the Board reported on 30th May, 1951, that there was sufficient cause for the detention of the petitioner, the affidavit proceeded as follows: "That the Government was advised that the orders made under section 11 of the Preventive Detention Act', 1950, as amended by the Preventive Detention (Amendment) Act, 195 .....

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Government instructed the District Magistrates to review the cases and apply their minds afresh and emphasised that there must exist rational grounds with the detaining authority to justify the detention of a person and they were asked to report clearly in each case if the District Magistrate concerned wanted the detenus to be detained. The Punjab Government also reviewed some cases. Accordingly all cases including the case of the petitioner were reviewed and in this case the District Magistrat .....

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behalf of t he petitioner on certain observations in an unreported decision of this Court in Petition No. 334 of 1951 (Naranjan Singh v. The State of Punjab) and it was claimed that in view of those observations and of the provisions of Part III of the Constitution, the decision in Basant Chandra Ghose v. King Emperor(1), on which the respondent relied. was no longer good law. The learned Judges thought that the matter should be considered by a Constitution bench and the case was accordingly pl .....

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arch, 1952, but while a properly framed order under section 11 should "confirm" the detention order and "continue" the detention for a specified period, the order of 17th May, 1951, was issued under a misapprehension in the form of an initial order under section 3 of the amended Act. on the same grounds as before without any fresh communication thereof to the petitioner. To (1) [1945] F.C.R. 31. avoid arguments based on possible defects of a technical and formal character, th .....

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aforesaid order. On essentially similar facts the court laid down two propositions both of which have application here. (1) Where an earlier order of detention is defective merely on formal grounds, there is nothing to preclude a proper order of detention being based on the pre-existing grounds them- selves, especially in cases in which the sufficiency of the grounds is not examinable by the courts, and (2) if at any time before the court directs the release of the detenu, a valid order directin .....

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proceedings has no application to proceedings in the nature of habeas corpus where the court is concerned solely with the question whether the applicant is being lawfully detained or not. The petitioner's learned counsel conceded that he could not challenge the correctness of the second proposition, but took exception to the first as being no longer tenable after the Indian Constitution came into force. It was urged that article 22 lays down the procedure to be followed in cases of preventi .....

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jab (Petition No. 308 of 1951)(1) to observe "it cannot too often be emphasised that before a person is deprived of his personal liberty the procedure established by law must be strictly followed and must not be departed from to the disadvantage of the person affected". This proposition, however, applied with equal force to cases of preventive detention before the commencement of the Constitution, and it is difficult to see what difference the Constitution makes in regard to the positi .....

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