(1.) By this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner/detenu challenges detention order dated 15-9-2017.
(2.) Mr. Tripathi, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioner, would submit that the petitioner has challenged the order of detention on several grounds. He would restrict his arguments to two grounds, the first of which is to be found at page 10, ground (i) of the petition.
(3.) Mr. Tripathi would submit that on a perusal of this ground and the explanation that is sought to be given by the respondents on affidavit, particularly at pages 64 and 65 of the paper-book, would denote that, firstly, the subjective satisfaction is based on an incident which occurred, on the own showing of the Detaining Authority, in December, 2016. The crime was registered being C.R. No. 440 of 2016 with Bhosari Police Station, Pune on 3-12-2016. The offences alleged were punishable under Sections 324, 363, 323, 504, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code ("IPC" for short). The detenu was put under arrest on 10-2-2017. The allegation is that the detenu was produced before the Competent Court and it remanded him to police custody till 23-2-2017, but on 10-2-2017 itself an application for bail was made before that Court and on the same day the detenu was released on bail. The charge-sheet of the said offence's further investigation was filed on 16-8-2017. Hence, according to Mr. Tripathi, for an incident of December 2016, to pass an order of detention on 15-9-2017 would denote that the authorities were completely casual, lethargic and did not deem it fit and proper to pass an order of detention although the detenu is alleged to have unleashed a reign of terror and his criminal activities affected the even tempo of life. Thus, there is no sense of urgency much less any expediency in passing an order of detention. After inviting our attention to the object and purpose of the statute like the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Dangerous persons, Video Pirates, Sand Smugglers and Persons Engaged in Black-marketing of Essential Commodities Act, 1981 ("the MPDA Act" for short), Mr. Tripathi would submit that compounded with all the above, the Detaining Authority says that the subjective satisfaction is based on certain incidents and which have occurred after December, 2016. In relation to that Mr. Tripathi would submit that the first incident is of March, 2017, the second is of May, 2017 and the third and the last one is of July, 2017. However, on the own showing of the Detaining Authority, in-camera statements have been recorded in relation to these incidents not promptly or immediately but on 12, 14 and 16-8-2017. The Detaining Authority has failed to explain as to why this delay has occurred in relation to recording these in-camera statements and when the incidents have occurred in March and May 2017. All the more, passing an order of detention based thereon, on 15-9-2017, vitiates the subjective satisfaction reached by the Detaining Authority. Thus, the delay in recording these in-camera statements has not been satisfactorily explained. On the other hand, realising that an order of detention cannot solely be based on the incident or offence of December, 2016, belatedly in September, 2017 the Detaining Authority has ensured that three in-camera statements are recorded subsequently and that is to only book the detenu under the MPDA Act. Mr. Tripathi would submit that the order of detention must, therefore, be quashed and set aside on the ground of delay itself.;