Decided on September 20,1988

Kapurji Navaji Khatik Appellant
Deputy Secretary,Food And Civil Supplies Department Respondents

Cited Judgements :-



PER RAVANI,J. - (1.)The petitioner has challenged the legality and validity of the order of detention passed under the provisions of Section 3 of the Prevention of Black -marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980. The order is dated April 28, 1988. It is disclosed in the grounds of detention served upon the petitioner that he was working at the Government godown as broker where the essential commodities such as wheat, rice, pamolene oil, etc., are stored. From these godowns when goods were cleared he used to work as broker on behalf of the businessmen for taking delivery. He admitted this fact in the statement given before the appropriate authority. On November 26, 1987 when the house of one Mohammed Hanif Bilalbhai was searched one empty barrel of pamolene oil and 15 full tins of pamolene oil weighing about 210 kgs. were found and seized. On inquiry it was found that the said Mohammed Hanif Bilalbhai had purchased pamolene oil from one Dalai Ramaji Sunaji after paying price of Rs. 3600/ - ; said Dalai Ramaji Sunaji in turn said that the aforesaid pamolene oil was purchased by him from detenu. The detenu admitted in his statement that out of the two permits of Jay Chamunda Consumer Co -operative Stores he had utilised one permit for the particular barrel which purchased by him for Rs. 3400/ -; that in the entire transaction he had received commission of Rs. 50/ -. It was alleged that the pamolene oil was an essential commodity, and by facilitating the aforesaid transaction of sale of pamolene oil to Mohammed Hanif Bilalbhai the petitioner had abetted the illegal activity of Mohammed Hanif Bilalbhai. It was alleged that the petitioner had illegally collected the stock of pamolene oil which was meant for distribution to the cardholders and that the same pamolene oil was again distributed so as to adversely affect the distribution system. On overall consideration of the material placed before him, the detaining authority came to the conclusion that the petitioner was required to be detained so as to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supply of essential commodities.
(2.)THE order of detention together with the grounds of detention was served upon the petitioner on the same date. The petitioner has challenged the legality and validity of the same by filing this petition.
(3.)IT is contended that the representation made to the Central Government against the order of detention has not been considered by the Government promptly and with expedition. Therefore the continued detention of the petitioner is illegal and void. In this respect affidavit in reply has been filed on behalf of the Central Government by one Dau Dayal, Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies (Department of Civil Supplies), New Delhi. As disclosed in para 4 of the affidavit -in -reply it is clear that much of the time has been taken between the two Governments, i.e. the Central Government and the State Government in correspondence and in calling for the para wise comments and sending the para wise comments and also for English translation of the representation. The details given in para 4 of the affidavit -in -reply satisfactorily explain the entire period between the date of receipt of representation by the Central Government, i.e. May 13, 1988 and the date on which the same has been finally decided, i.e. June 1, 1988. It cannot be said that there is delay, much less inordinate and unexplained delay in disposing of the representation submitted by the petitioner detenu. Hence the ground taken on the basis of alleged delay fails.
It was contended that the Advisory Board has not submitted its report within the period seven weeks as prescribed in the statute. As disclosed in the affidavit -in -reply the report of the Advisory Board has been sent to the State Government on May 25, 1988, i.e. within one month from the date of detention. As per the relevant provisions of the statute, the report of the Advisory Board should reach the State Government within seven weeks. Therefore, this ground has also no merits and the same is required to be rejected.


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