C V MADHAVA MANNADIAR Vs. DISTRICT COLLECTOR AND ADDL DISTRICT MAGISTRATE PALGHAT AND
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
DISTRICT COLLECTOR AND ADDL. DISTRICT MAGISTRATE, PALGHAT AND
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(1.) The point that falls to be determined in this application for a writ of habeas corpus Questioning the detention of the petitioner under S.3. Sub-s.(1)(a)(iii), of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950 (the Act, for short) is whether the 1st respondent, described as the District Collector and Additional District Magistrate, Palghat who ordered the detention (by means of Ext. P 1 dated 30-9-1968) had the authority to do so. For the rest, the ground for the detention as disclosed by the memorandum. Ext. P 2, of the same date, duly served on the petitioner as required by S.7 of the Act, namely, that the petitioner was habitually engaging himself in the unlawful transport of paddy from the district of Palghat to the adjoining areas of the Madras State, and that he was thus hindering the procurement of paddy in the district the purpose of equitable distribution under the scheme of rationing thereby prejudicing the maintenance of supplies essential to the community, is obviously a good and sufficient ground for the detention. If the petitioner's grievance is that he has not been furnished with sufficient particulars to enable him to make his defence, then he should ask for further particulars. And, if his grievance is that there are no materials justifying the conclusion on which the ground is based, then he should urge that before the Advisory Board constituted under S.8 of the Act by means of a representation made under S.7, not before us.
(2.) Ext. P 1 was made by Shri G. Gopalakrishna Pillai, the District Collector of Palghat. in his capacity as Additional District Magistrate, Palghat. That, in June 1967, Shri G. Gopalakrishna Pillai was duly appointed by the State Government under S.12 of the Criminal Procedure Code to be a Magistrate of the first class in the district of Palghat, and, under S.10(2), to be Additional District Magistrate of the district with all the powers of a District Magistrate is not disputed. What is disputed is that he has been "specially empowered" within the meaning of Clause (b) of Sub-s.(2) of S.3 of the Act
(3.) On the 21st October 1967, the State Government made the following order which was notified in a Gazette Extraordinary of the same date:
"Under Clause (b) of Sub-s.(2) of S, 3 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950 (Central Act 4 of 1950), the Government of Kerala hereby specially empower the Additional District Magistrates in the State (District Collectors) to exercise the powers under Sub clauses (ii) and (iii) of Clause (a) of Sub-s.(1) of the said section."
We are told that all District Collectors in the State as also their personal Assistants have been appointed Additional District Magistrates under S.10 of the Code, and that the meaning of the above notification is that such of these Additional District Magistrates as are District Collectors (but not the rest) are specially empowered to exercise the power under Sub clauses (ii) and (iii) of Clause (a) of Sub-s.(1) of S.3 of the Act. That is the meaning of the notification (although, perhaps, it could have been more artistically expressed) admits of little doubt, but it is contended that the words, "specially empower" notwithstanding this is in truth a general empowerment of all Additional District Magistrates who are District Collectors and not the special empowerment required by Clause (b) of Sub-s.(2) of S.3 of the Act.;
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