Decided on September 17,1982



Tulzapurkar, J. - (1.) As we felt after fully hearing counsel on either side that the impugned order of detention herein deserved to be quashed, we by our order dated 9th Sep., 1982, directed the immediate release of the appellant and stated that our reasons would follow. We now proceed to give our reasons.
(2.) The appellant Yumnam Mangibabu Singh (the detenu) is a science graduate and was at the material time serving as Superintending Engineer (Class I Post) in the Electricity Department of the Government of Manipur at Imphal. It is alleged that on 13th May, 1981 he wrote a letter to Head-quarters, Peoples' Liberation Army, Eastern Region, an unlawful organisation in Manipur, promising financial help to the organisation in his official capacity. On 31-10-1981 the Army called him to its Headquarters, Imphal, and as soon as he reached there he was handed over to the Police Station on lodging a complaint (F. I. R.) against him for offences under Sections 121/121-A, I. P. C. and 13 of U. A. P. Act. He was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate on 1-11-1981 and released on bail. However, at the instance of the police, when he visited the Police Station in the morning of 21-11-1981, he was served with a detention order dated 20-11-1981 issued by the District Magistrate, Central Manipur (respondent No. 2) under Section 3 (2) of the National Security Act, 1980 and on taking him into custody he was detained in Manipur Central Jail. The detention was effected with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to (a) the security of the State and (b) maintenance of public order. On 23rd Nov., 1981, he was served with grounds of detention along with some photostat copies of concerned documents, including a copy of the letter dated 13-5-1981, allegedly written by him (the subject-matter of the F. I. R.). The grounds of detention as furnished to the appellant run thus:- "I (a) Your are an ardent sympathiser of the outlawed organisation Peoples1 Liberation Army (P. L. A. for short), and you have been extending financial help to the said organisation to enable it to carry on its illegal and violent activities. In pursuance of the same you voluntarily wrote a letter to the Headquarter of the P. L. A. Eastern Region wherein you promised to misuse your official position to divert departmental funds for the unlawful activities of the said organisation. (b) In pursuance of your said assurance you along with one Lourembam Brojendra Kumar Singh of Mirangkhom paid a visit to the house of Laikangbam Iboyaima Singh, partner of M/s. Win Supply Agency, in an Amabassador car (Mark IV) one morning in the month of May, 198 1. You obtained from the said Iboyaima Singh four sets of bill forms and 3/4 leaves of the letterheads of the said firm. These bill forms and letterheads were obtained by you by means of extortion, as you were in a position to show favour to the said firm and similarly to show disfavour to the same, being in a position to grant/ deny supply order to that firm. (c) That thereafter you issued the four supply orders on 18-5-1981, 20-5-1981,25-5-1981 and 11 -6-1981 for a sum of Rs. 3,96,560/- in the name of M/s. Win Supply Agency for supply of various materials for electrical installations. The supply orders were, however, actually given to one Sanjoy Sharma of Yumnam Leikai, Nambul Mapal, a member of P. L. A. and his other associates. To the same persons you had handed over the bill orders and letter-heads extorted by you from M/s. Win Supply Agency; the said Sanjoy Sharma and his associates presented these bill-forms for payment. Thus with your active and voluntary help you managed to divert a huge sum of Government money to the said outlawed organisation, and helped them in waging war against the Government of India and Manipur. 2. In view of the circumstances mentioned above and also of your being an ardent sympathiser of the outlawed organisation there is every likelihood that you shall continue to indulge in similar anti-national and unlawful activities thereby encouraging them to cause prejudice to the maintenance of public order. Hence the undersigned is compelled to order your detention under Section 3(2) of the National Security Act, 1980. I am satisfied that with a view to prevent you from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and security of the State, I have made this detention order."
(3.) On 27-11-1981 the appellant submitted his representation to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Manipur against his detention, denying having had any connection with the P. L. A. or having acted in any manner prejudicial to the' security of the State or maintenance of public order. He also reserved his right to file further representation after getting certain material and documents which were not supplied to him. The representation was rejected. Thereafter he filed a writ in the High Court of Manipur at Gauhati being Civil Rule (H. C.) No. 950 of 1981 challenging his detention on several grounds but the High Court negatived all the grounds of challenge and dismissed the writ petition by its order dated 25-1-1982 and 17-2-1982. The decision of the High Court is challenged in the instant appeal. Alternatively, he has approached this Court by a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India challenging his detention. The appeal as well as the writ petition are being allowed for the reasons indicated below.;

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