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Palanisamy v. District Collector - H.C.P. No.381 of 2005  RD-TN 501 (25 July 2005)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P.SATHASIVAM
The Hon'ble Mr. Justice AR.RAMALINGAM
H.C.P. No.381 of 2005
Palanisamy ... Petitioner -Vs-
1. District Collector
and District Magistrate,
2. The Secretary to the Government
of Tamil Nadu
Prohibition and Excise Department,
Fort St. George,
Chennai-600 009. ... Respondents Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issuance of Writ of Habeas Corpus to call for the records in Cr.M.P.No.03/B.L/2005/E4 on the file of the first respondent, quash the detention order dated 4.2.2005 and direct the production of the detenu Subban, son of Thannasi, presently detained at the Central Prison, Coimbatore, under the Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982 before this Honourable Court and set him at liberty.
For Petitioner : Mr.A.M.Rahamath Ali
For Respondents : Mr.V.Arul,
Govt. Advocate (Crl. Side)
:O R D E R
(Order of the Court was made by P.SATHASIVAM, J.) The petitioner is the son of the detenu by name Subban. He challenges the impugned proceedings dated 04.02.2005, branding the detenu as 'Bootlegger' as contemplated under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum Grabbers and Video Pirates Act, 1982.
2. After taking us through the grounds of detention and all other connected materials, learned counsel for the petitioner has raised the following contentions:-
(a) There is inordinate delay in communicating the rejection letter to the detenu, which vitiates the ultimate order of detention. (b) Copy of the special requisition made by the Sponsoring Authority to the Court for sending the samples to the Laboratory has not been furnished to the detenu.
(c) Though the detenu was served with copy of the orders passed in four adverse cases, in spite of the request made by the detenu, copies of all the materials connected to those cases were not furnished to him.
(d) In view of the discrepancy at page No.33 of the Booklet supplied to the detenu, the detention order is liable to be quashed.
3. Coming to the first contention regarding delay, the particulars furnished by the learned Government Advocate show that the representation of the detenu was received by the Government on 05.04.2005, remarks were called for on 06.04.2005 and the same were received on 12.04.2005. The File was dealt with by the Deputy Secretary on 13.04.2005 and finally, the Minister for Prohibition and Excise passed orders on 15.04.2005. Rejection letter was prepared on 18.04.2005. The said letter was sent to the detenu on 19.04.2005 and served to the detenu on 23.04.2005. Learned counsel for the petitioner mainly relied on the delay between 19.04.2005 and 23.04.2005. It is brought to our notice that the rejection order was passed by the competent authority at Chennai and after preparation of the rejection letter, the same was sent to the detenu, who was detained in the Central Prison at Coimbatore, due to which, the same was served only on 23.04.2005. It is also brought to our notice that 22.04.2005 being a Holiday, if we exclude the said date, it cannot be said that there is enormous delay as claimed by the petitioner. On going through the materials, we hold that it cannot be claimed that there was undue delay on the part of the authorities in disposal of the representation of the detenu.
4. Coming to the second contention, namely, copy of the special requisition made by the Sponsoring Authority to the Judicial Magistrate, Mettupalayam, for sending the samples to the Laboratory for chemical analysis, has not been supplied to the detenu, it is the argument of the learned Government Advocate that it is only a referred to document and not a relied upon document, for which, the detenu is entitled to a copy of the same. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, by drawing our attention to the decision rendered in HCP No.173 of 200 5, dated 18.03.2005, would submit that in the absence of supply of copy of the said document, the detention order is liable to be quashed. We have gone through the factual position in that case and the decision rendered therein. Though a reference has been made in paragraph No.3(c) of the grounds of detention regarding the requisition to the Judicial Magistrate, Mettupalayam, for sending the samples to the Laboratory for chemical analysis, we are of the view that the document, viz., special requisition, cannot be a relied upon document as claimed by the learned counsel for the petitioner. It is also not in dispute that the detenu is entitled to a copy only with regard to a relied upon document and in the case of a referred to document, unless the detenu shows/establishes that prejudice has been caused to him due to non-supply of such referred to document, there is no need to supply the same. On going through the said paragraph in the grounds of detention, namely, 3(c), taking note of the claim of the respondents that it is only a referred to document, and in the absence of any prejudice shown, we are unable to accept the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner. The decision relied on by the learned counsel for the petitioner is not applicable to the case on hand.
5. Coming to the third contention, it is not in dispute that all the four adverse cases referred to in the grounds of dentition ended in conviction and the detenu was set off taking note of his period in prison. It is also not in dispute that the detenu was served with copies of the F.I.R., calendar extract etc. and the ultimate order passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, Mettupalayam. Learned Government Advocate has brought to our notice the confession statement of the accused, wherein, he has admitted his involvement in other cases prior to the adverse cases. In such circumstances, we are of the view that the claim made by the petitioner cannot be accepted.
6. Coming to the last contention, namely, discrepancy in the FIR dated 14.01.2005, we verified the same. It is seen that when the Sub Inspector of Police was in the Police Station, at about 13.00 Hours, on 14.01.2005, the complainant by name Pathirappan made a written complaint, which was addressed to the Inspector of Police for taking necessary action. Accordingly, we find no discrepancy as claimed by the petitioner. To put it clear, though the complaint was addressed to the Inspector of Police for necessary action, the same was handed over in the Police Station to the Sub Inspector of Police, who was there at 1 P.M. on 14.01.2005. We are satisfied that there is no discrepancy which goes to the root of the matter as claimed.
7. In these circumstances, we do not find any valid ground for interference. H.C.P. fails and the same is dismissed. JI.
1. The District Collector, Coimbatore District. 2. Secretary to Government, Prohibition and Excise Department, Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009.
3. The Superintendent, Central Prison, Coimbatore. (In duplicate for communication to detenu) 4. The Joint Secretary to Government, Public (Law and Order) Fort St. George, Chennai-9.
5. The Public Prosecutor, High Court, Madras.
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