Decided on February 16,1954



- (1.)THIS is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issue of a writ, in the nature of Habeas Corpus for the release of the applicant, Kadam Singh from detention in pursuance of an order made by the District Magistrate of Morena under Sub-clause (ii) of Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950. The petitioner was arrested on 12-1-1953 and detained for action prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. The grounds of detention were served on him on 13-1-1954. They are to the effect that the petitioner was associating himself actively with named, notorious and proclaimed dacoits and leaders of gangs of dacoits, and was aiding and abetting them in the commission of the dacoities by supplying arms and ammunition, by giving information to them about the movements of the police and by harbouring them; that on the diverse dates mentioned in the grounds he concealed and confined, kidnapped or abducted women and transported them to Rajasthan, extracted money from the relations of persons held to ransom by the dacoits with whom he was associating, forced the chamars of village Sarai Chhola to do 'begar' work and that on their refusal to do so. instigated the dacoits to loot the chamars and deterred certain persons from giving evidence against persons accused of murder and against persons from whom security under Section 110, Criminal P. C. was being demanded. The petitioner says in his petition that the action of the District Magistrate in detaining him was mala fide; that the detention order was passed without any satisfaction on the part of the District Magistrate and that the grounds on which the District Magistrate ordered the petitioner's detention are all false and fabricated and that the order of detention was made for the purpose of stifling legitimate criticism by his brother one Sobaran Singh of the inefficiency and inaction of the police, in Morena and has nothing to do with the maintenance of public order.
(2.)ON behalf of the State, the District Magistrate has sworn to an affidavit stating that on the report and record placed beforehand by the District Superintendent of Police of Morena, in regard to the prejudicial activities of the - petitioner Kadam Singh, he felt completely satisfied that it was necessary to detain Kadam Singh in order to prevent him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. The District Magistrate has emphatically denied that he acted mala fide in passing the order. He says in para 5 of the affidavit that the applicant was found to have been associated with notorious dacoits and supplied them with arms and ammunition and it was apprehended that he gave them information about the movements of the police. This immediate danger compelled action of preventive detention. Past activities of the detenu gave cause for the apprehension. The order of detention was precipitated by the incidents between July to December 1953, which have been included in the grounds of detention. In para 10 of the affidavit of the District Magistrate it is further stated that the order of detention in the present case was not resorted to as a punitive measure taut as a preventive measure in view of the alarming law and order situated in the Morena District and for the reasons contained in the grounds of detention. Recourse to ordinary law was not efficacious to prevent further deterioration of public order in view of the present law and order situation in the district and in view of the fact that witnesses are not forthcoming to give evidence against the petitioner because Of his long and close association with gangs of notorious and revengeful dacoits.
(3.)WE are precluded from going into the truth or the adequacy of the grounds of detention communicated to the detenu. The Supreme Court has in a number of cases held that the power to issue a detention order under Section 3, Preventive Detention Act depends entirely upon the satisfaction of the appropriate authority specified in that section and that the sufficiency of the grounds upon which such satisfaction purports to be passed, provided they have a rational probative value and are not extraneous to the scope or purpose of the legislative provision cannot be challenged in a court of law, except on the ground, of mala fides. See - 'state of Bombay v. Atma Ram' Tara-pada De v. State of West Bengal' - 'shibban Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh'. The truth or otherwise of the facts which are mentioned as grounds of detention in the communication to the detenu under Section 7 of the Act cannot also be inquired into by a court of law. See. Mr. Anand learned Counsel for the applicant, therefore, rightly did not challenge before us the order of detention of the petitioner on the ground that the grounds of detention were false or inadequate or that the District Magistrate had not really satisfied himself with regard to the necessity of detaining the petitioner on those grounds. Learned Counsel for the petitioner did not also question the bona fides of the District Magistrate in making the order of detention. He, however, urged that items Nos. 7, 8 and 9 of the grounds supplied to the applicant did not touch the maintenance of public order and were therefore, irrelevant to the detention of the applicant, that the acts said to have been done by the detenu la 1950, 51, 52 and 53 could not form valid or relevant grounds for his detention; and that the acts of the applicant referred to the grounds constitute offences under the Penal Code and could have formed the basis of punitive action and that, therefore, they could not be regarded as relevant grounds for detention under the Preventive Detention Act.

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