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Satraj v. State Of U.P. And Others - HABEAS CORPUS WRIT PETITION No. 55428 of 2006  RD-AH 5028 (21 March 2007)
HEBEAS CORPUS WRIT PETITION NO. 55428 of 2006
SATRAJ VS. STATE OF U.P. AND OTHERS
Hon'ble Mukteshwar Prasad, J.
Hon'ble S.C. Nigam, J.
(Delivered by Hon'ble. Mukteshwar Prasad, J.)
By means of this habeas corpus petition, the petitioner has challenged the detention order dated 14th July, 2006 passed by District Magistrate, Ghaziabad under Section 3 (2) of the National Security Act (hereinafter referred to as the ''Act'). On the same day, grounds of detention (Annexure-3 to the petition) were also served on the petitioner in District Jail, Ghaziabad where he was detained in connection with case crime no. 71 of 2006, under Section 302/34 I.P.C., P.S. Modi Nagar, district Ghaziabad.
It appears that on 6th March, 2006, nominations for the election of delegates to Cane Society were being filled up at the office of Ganna Samiti where a large number of villagers belonging to village Gadana and other villagers had assembled with their candidates. One Raj Bahadur Singh along with his brother Amarjeet Singh @ Gandhi, members of his family and other villagers had also gone there for nomination. The petitioner accompanied by Rakesh @ Billu and Babendra @ Babbu along with his supporters were also there for nomination. At about 1-00 P.M. Babendra @ Babbu talked to Amarjeet Singh and there was exchange of hot words as to why Amarjeet was filing nomination. In the course of altercation, petitioner and his associate Rakesh caught hold Amarjeet Singh @ Gandhi and exhorted Babendra to kill with a view to teach him a lesson. Babendra fired a shot with his country made pistol. Raj Bahadur Singh, brother of Amarjeet Singh, Jugmendra and Ashok and other villagers tried to apprehend the petitioner and his associates but they succeeded in running away on account of heavy crowd brandishing their tamanchas. Amarjeet Singh, who was seriously injured, was taken to Jeevan Hospital on a Police Jeep but on account of his critical condition, he was referred to Yashoda Hospital at Ghaziabad where he succumbed to his injuries.
After the aforesaid incident, persons started running helter- skelter and even employees of the office left their seats with a view to save their lives. There was complete chaos and atmosphere of terror. Police force led by S.I. Ajmer Singh was posted there to maintain law and order at the time of nomination. The Police force also failed to apprehend the culprits on account of heavy rush of the villagers. Looking to the break down of public order, S.I. Ajmer Singh informed the superior officers whereupon Circle Officer, Modi Nagar accompanied by sufficient Police force reached there and made all possible efforts to maintain public order. The additional Police force, including P.A.C. was summoned from district head-quarters and was deployed at the office of Ganna Samiti as well as in the market with a view to bring normalcy. Raj Bahadur Singh handed over a written report to the local Police and a case was registered at crime no.71 of 2006 at 3-40 P.M. After proclamation under Section 82 Cr.P.C., the petitioner surrendered in the court of C.J.M., Ghaziabad and the co-accused are still absconding. The bail prayer on behalf of the petitioner was rejected by the court of C.J.M. and Sessions Judge, Ghaziabad.
On 9.7.2006, S.O. Modi Nagar sent a detailed report for detaining the petitioner under the Act and made a request to detaining authority in this regard. S.S.P., Ghaziabad vide his letter dated 13th July, 2006 proposed to the District Magistrate for detaining the petitioner under Section 3 (2) of the Act. Ultimately, on 14th July, 2006 the order of detention impugned in this petition was passed.
Counter and rejoinder affidavits were exchanged between the parties and are on record and with consent of the parties, the petition was heard and is being finally disposed of.
We have heard Sri Rajiv Gupta, learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri Arvind Tripathi, learned A.G.A. for respondents no. 1, 3 and 4 and Sri A.K. Dwivedi, learned counsel for Union of India. We have gone through the entire record also carefully, including the order of detention and grounds of detention.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has assailed the impugned order mainly on the grounds that the matter in question related to law and order and there was no breach of public order and the incident in question took place as a result of old enmity and political rivalry. It was contended that no detention order was passed under the Act against the co-accused, including the main assailant Babendra. It was submitted that no application for bail is pending in this Court after rejection of the bail prayer of the petitioner by learned Sessions Judge. The last but not the least important submission made on behalf of the petitioner is that Union Government did not consider the representation sent by the petitioner and returned the same without disposal.
On the other hand, learned A.G.A. Sri Tripathi has submitted that it was a clear case of breach of public order as has been asserted by the detaining authority in its counter affidavit that after the incident of murder at the time of nomination for election of delegates to Cane Society, a large number of villagers, including candidates and their supporters had assembled at the office of Ganna Samiti, Modi Nagar and after the murder, there was panic and terror in and around the office of Ganna Samiti and as a result of incident, the higher officers were informed. Additional Police force, including P.A.C. were deployed inside and outside of office, including market to control the situation. Even tempo of the society at large was disturbed and as such, the activity of the petitioner and his associates were clearly prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and detaining authority was fully justified in passing the impugned order. It was further submitted that bail application of the petitioner was rejected by C.J.M. and learned Sessions Judge, Ghaziabad and he was making all possible efforts to come out of Jail. It is true that no bail application was pending in this Court. Co-accused are still absconding and had neither surrendered nor had been arrested by the Police. So far as the last submission is concerned, the representation made by the petitioner was not addressed to the Central Government and as such, it was not considered. The detaining authority has asserted it in very clear words in paragraphs-5 and 9 of the counter affidavit.
Sri A.K. Dwivedi, learned counsel for Union of India contended that representation was not addressed to the Union Government and Under Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs has asserted in paragraph-5 of the counter affidavit that representation was not addressed to it and petitioner made no request to the Union Government for any relief.
Reliance was placed by the petitioner's learned counsel on a decision in Mohd. Naseem Vs. Superintendent, Central Jail, Naini, Allahabad and others reported in 2003 (46) ACC 860.
Learned A.G.A. in support of his contention has relied on the following decisions :
1- State of U.P. Vs. Kamal Kishore Saini (1988) 1 SCC
2- State of U.P. and another Vs. Sanjai Pratap Gupta
Alias pappu and others 2004 (II) SC 667.
3- Rana @ Parvindar Vs. Union of India and others 2002
(44) ACC 757.
4- Apda Haran Singh Vs. Union of India and others 1994
5- Kartic Chandra Guha Vs. The State of West Bengal
and others AIR 1974 SC 2149.
We have gone through the decisions relied upon by the parties. So far as the decision rendered by a Division Bench of this Court in Mohd. Naseem's case (Supra) is concerned; the same does not help to the petitioner. The simple reason is that no argument was advanced before us that copy of the representation was endorsed to the Central Government also by the petitioner.
The Apex Court relying on various decisions clearly held in K.K. Saini's case (Supra) that contravention of law always affects order but before it can be said to affect public order, it must affect the community or the public at large. Similar observation was made in the case of Arun Ghosh Vs State of W.B. 1970 SCC (Cri) 67. Disturbance of public order is to be distinguished from acts directed against individuals, which do not disturb the society to the extent of causing a general disturbance of public tranquility. It is the degree of disturbance and its effect upon the life of the community in a locality, which determines whether the disturbance amounts only to a breach of law and order. Therefore the distinction between breach of law and order and breach of public order is of degree and its reach and impact on the society/public at large. The true distinction between public order and law and order lies not in the nature or quality of the act, but in the degree and extent of its reach upon society. Acts similar in nature but committed in different contexts and circumstances might cause different reactions. In one case it might affect specific individuals only. It is the potentiality of the act to disturb the even tempo of the life of the community which makes it prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. In State of U.P. and another Vs. Sanjai Pratap Gupta' case (Supra) it was held that the stand that a single act cannot be considered sufficient for holding that public order was affected is clearly without substance. What has to be seen is the effect of the act on the even tempo of life, the extent of its reach upon society and its impact. Therefore, in view of the settled law on this point and after perusal of the grounds of detention, it is apparent that there was not only breach of law and order but it was a case of break down of public order. The detaining authority has stated in unambiguous words that there was terror and atmosphere was surcharged with tension and fear. The villagers were seen and found running helter-skelter and there was complete chaos in and around the office. Consequently, additional Police force was summoned and deployed from the nearest Police stations as well as from the district head-quarters and the officers had a watch for several days with a view to bring normalcy and to control the situation. The incident took place in broad day light and that too in the presence of thousands of villagers with a view to prevent one party from filing nomination and from participating in the election process. We, therefore, hold that the act of the petitioner and his associates was clearly prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and the order of detention was rightly served under Section 3 (2) of the Act. It is true that the petitioner was in Jail on the date order of detention was served on him. However, it is crystal clear and is admitted that he had moved an application for bail in the court of C.J.M. as well as in the court of Sessions Judge which were rejected. It means he was making all efforts for being released on bail.
So far as the last submission is concerned, both the detaining authority as well as Under Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India have asserted in their counter affidavits that no representation was addressed to Union Government and no relief was sought for and as such, there was no question of considering the representation by respondent no.2. We do not find any substance in the contention of petitioner's learned counsel that representation which had reached the Union of India was returned to the State Government as it was not addressed to it and this act/inaction on the part of Central Government renders the detention order illegal.
In our opinion, no illegality was committed by the Union of India by returning to the State Government and Union of India was not obliged to consider the representation of the petitioner which had not been addressed to it.
In view of the aforesaid discussion and after consideration of the arguments advanced before us, we find no illegality in impugned order of detention. We are of the opinion that this petition is devoid of substance and lacks merit.
The petition is accordingly dismissed with no order as to costs.
Date: 21st March, 2007
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