MANJU JALAN Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(CAL)-1994-12-27
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on December 23,1994

MANJU JALAN Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

PRADEEP PATUKAR V. S. RAMAMURTY AND OTHERS [REFERRED TO]
INSHAN ALI V. SUPT. CENTRAL PRISON AND TWO ORS. [REFERRED TO]
GURMIT KAUR V. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. [REFERRED TO]
ASHADEVL WIFE OF GOPAL GHERMAL MEHTA DETENU VS. K SHIVRAJ ADDITIONAL CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF GUJARAT [REFERRED TO]
ASHOK NARAIN VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
ANAND PRAKASH VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
N K BAPNA VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

M.G. Mukherji, J. - (1.)This writ application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for Habeas Corpus his been filed by Slit. Manju Jalan W/o Asoke Kumar Jalan Pappu, the detenu, impugning an order of detention passed under Section 3(1) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 bearing order No. F. 673/ 160/94.Cus. VIII dated 22nd of September, 1994 issued by Shri K.L. Verma, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, New Delhi whereby the detenu has been detained in the Presidency Jail at Alipore, Calcutta.
(2.)It has been submitted by the petitioner that the house of the detenu was searched by the Enforcement Directorate Officials in connection with his Telcum Powder business. Certain documents were seized from his house. It was a sequel to the recovery of certain amount of money from one Khokan Saha and Biswanath Sarkar at Madhu Milan Guest House in Burrabazar on 23-2- 1994. An application for anticipatory bail was moved by the detenu pursuant to which a Division Bench of this Court granted him anticipatory bail subject to certain conditions. The detenu was thereafter interrogated in the Enforcement Directorate Office on April 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27 and 29, 1994. He was threatened by the Enforcement Directorate Officials of being implicated in criminal cases unless he gave voluntary statement of his own as directed by the said Officials. On 1st May, 1994 the Enforcement Directorate Officials visited his house and searched for him and searched also the house of one Sri Nitya Majumdar and others and on 2.5.1994 five persons including Sri Nitya Majumdar and Dipak Devnath and others, who were said to be involved in Foreign Exchange dealings in an unauthorised manner, were produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. Even in May, 1994 the detenu was threatened with implication by the Enforcement Directorate Officials which led him to make a representation to the Deputy Director and ultimately on 10th of May, 1994 there was a statement taken by force by the Enforcement Directorate Officials. A First Information Report was lodged at Taltala Police Station in this regard. On 20th of May, 1994 a notice was issued by the Division Bench for contempt. Ultimately, on 1.10.94 the detenu was arrested when he went to the Enforcement Directorate Office of his own.
(3.)Mr. Asoke Sen, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the detenu contended before us with reference to the grounds of detention that the incident referred to in the said grounds were of the date 23rd of February, 1994 when a sum of Rs. four lakhs was seized along with certain documents from the room occupied by Sri Khokan Saha and Sri Biswanath Sarkar at Madhu Milan Guest House at Burrabazar. This incident was taken along with the statement alleged to have been given by Khokan Saha, Biswanath Sarkar, the detenu and his brother Sri. Krishan Kumari Jalan on different dates. The statements allegedly obtained from the detenu and his brother were taken on 9th and 10th of May, 1994. There was thus a gap of over four months in between the statements made by different persons and the order of detention. If the gap is taken from the date of first incident there would be also a gap of nearly seven months between the first incident and the order of detention. The second incident mentioned in the grounds is stated to have taken place on 1st of May, 1994. The statements of the detenu and his brother were allegedly obtained on 9th and 10th May, 1994 and those of Nitya Majumdar and Dipak Debnath who were arrested from Sal t Lake were obtained on 1st and 2nd May, 1994. There was thus a gap of 4 months and several days from 1st of May, 1994. There is no explanation for the delay given by the Detaining Authority except what has been given out at page 9 of the affidavit-in-opposition and also at pages 20 and 23 of the affidavit-in- opposition. It has been given out that the proposal for making the order of detention was received by the Enforcement Directorate Head Quarters at New Delhi on 13th June, 1994. On 11th July, 1994 the proposal was sent to the Ministry of Finance by the Head Qaurters office of the Enforcement Directorate, New Delhi. On 12th August, 1994 the proposal was placed before the Screening Committee. On 22nd September, 1994 the detention order was issued by the Detaining Authority and on 30th September, 1994 the order of detention was received at Calcutta Office of the Enforcement Directorate through the Head Quarters Office at New Delhi Enforcement Directorate. Q 2nd October, 1994 the detention order was served on the detenu and he was detained in Presidency Jail at Alipore, Calcutta. On 4th October 1994 the grounds of detention as also the documents relied upon by the Detaining Authority were served on the detenu by the Jail Authorities. On 10th October, 1994 the Ministry of Finance, New Delhi forwarded the case before the Advisory Board, New Delhi. The detenu also made a representation to the Joint Secretary to the Government of India through the Superintendent of Presidency Jail under his letter dated October 15/17, 1994 making complaint inter alia that some of the documents were not legible enough and page No. 17 of the document allegedly relied upon by the Detaining Authority was not in a language known to the detenu and no translation thereof was also provided to him. The detenu requested for legible copies and translation of the documents pointed out in his representation. Although all the documents which are served with the grounds of detention, according to the respondents, were legible, yet as a measure of abundant caution another set of documents including the English translation of page 17 of the earlier document referred to, was sent to the Jail Authority on 25.10.1994 for service on the detenu. On 26.10.1994 the Jail Authority attempted to serve the said documents but the detenu declined to accept the same on some plea or other. However, ultimately he accepted the documents which he refused on the day earlier. On 31.10.1994 the Detaining Authority under letter No.F.686/253/94-Cus. VIII dated 31.1 0.1994 replied to the representation of the detenu through the Superintendent, Presidency Jail. On 9.10.1994 the Finance Minister, New Delhi fixed the date of hearing the detenu on 5.12.1994 at the Customs House, Calcutta.


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