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S.ARUMUGAM versus THE SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

High Court of Madras

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S.Arumugam v. The Secretary to Government - H.C.P.(MD) No.15 of 2007 [2007] RD-TN 701 (26 February 2007)

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED : 26/02/2007

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE M.CHOCKALINGAM

and

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA

H.C.P.(MD) No.15 of 2007

S.Arumugam,

S/o.K.Sakkarai ... Petitioner vs.

1.The Secretary to Government,

Food Co-operation and

Consumer Protection Department,

Fort St.George, Chennai-9.

2.The Additional Secretary,

Government of India,

Ministry of Consumer, Food and

Public Distribution,

Department of Consumer Affairs,

Room No.270, Krishi Bhavan,

New Delhi-110 001.

3.The Secretary to Government,

Food and Consumer Protection Department,

Government of India, New Delhi-1.

4.The District Collector & District Magistrate,

Theni District, Theni.

5.The Superintendent of Prison,

Central Prison, Madurai. ... Respondents

Petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for issuance of a writ of habeas corpus by calling for the records relating to the detention order No.3/2006/CS dated 22.11.2006 on the file of 4th respondent and quash the same as illegal and consequently set the detenu Karuppu @ Gunasekaran, the co-brother of the petitioner, at liberty. For Petitioner ... Mr.M.Ajmalkhan

For Respondents ... Mr.S.P.Samuel Raj,

Addl.Public Prosecutor.

:ORDER



(Order of the Court was made by M.CHOCKALINGAM, J) Challenging the order of detention dated 22.11.2006, passed by the 4th respondent, terming the detenu by name Karuppu @ Gunasekaranas as a 'Black Marketeer' under the provisions of Section 3(2)(a) of the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 (Act 7 of 1980) on the ground that twice he committed offence under Section 6(3) and (d), 6(4) of TNSC (RDCS) order 1982 read with Section 7(i)a(ii) of the Essential Commodities Act 1955 and 6(4) read with 9 of PDS Control Order, 2001 and Sections 411, 414, 353 and 506(i) IPC and thus he acted in the manner prejudicial to the maintenance and supplies of commodities essential to the community, the petitioner, the co-brother of the detenu, has approached this Court with the above habeas corpus petition.

2.The Court heard the learned counsel for the petitioner as well as the learned Additional Public Prosecutor.

3.The order under challenge is perused, from which it could be seen that two cases came to be registered against the detenue, that is, one adverse case in Crime No.481/2006 registered under Section 6(3) and (d), 6(4) of TNSC (RDCS) order 1982 read with Section 7(i)a(ii) of the Essential Commodities Act 1955 and 6(4) read with 9 of PDS Control Order, 2001 and Sections 411, 414, 353 and 506(i) IPC and also the ground case in Crime No.678/2006 registered under Section 6(4) of TNSC (RDCS) Order, 1982 read with Section 7(i)a(ii) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Sections 353, 506(i) IPC and thus he is a habitual offender and thus he has been termed as a "black marketeer" and he has also acted in the manner prejudicial to the maintenance and supplies of commodities essential to the community and therefore the order under challenge was to be passed, according to the detaining authority.

4.The petitioner seeks the order to be quashed mainly on the ground of delay that the detention order came to be passed on 22.11.2006; that the representation made on behalf of the detenu was received by the Government on 18.12.2006; that the rejection letter was prepared on 22.01.2007 and sent to the detenu on 23.01.2007 and finally served upon him on 25.01.2007 and thus there was a delay of nearly a period of two months. Even as per the proforma and particulars supplied, it could be seen that the representation was received on 18.12.2006 and remarks were called for on 21.12.2006 and the remarks were received only on 08.01.2007 and thus there was 17 days delay even in furnishing the remarks. In answer to the above, the learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that this has caused prejudiced to the interest of the detenu and on this ground of delay the order has got to be set aside.

5.In answer to the above, the learned Additional Government Pleader submitted there were seven

days intervening holidays and the rest of the time cannot be considered as delay and it was reasonable time consumed for placing the remarks before the detaining authority.

6.After hearing both sides, the Court is of the considered opinion that the delay that has been caused and noticed by the Court would be sufficient to set aside the order of detention, since in the considered opinion of the Court, it has caused prejudice to the interest of the detenu. After passing the detention order, a representation was made on behalf of the detenu and the same was received by the Government on 18.12.2006 and though the remarks were called for from the detaining authority on 21.012.2006, the same were received only on 08.01.2007. Thus, there is a delay of 17 days in getting the remarks. It is true that there were 7 days holidays in between and during which period the sponsoring authority could not have placed the remarks before the detaining authority. But there are 10 days more that has been taken by the sponsoring authority, which, in the opinion of the Court, was undue delay and it has caused prejudice to the interest of the detenu and which would be sufficient to quash the order of detention.

7.Accordingly, the habeas corpus petition is allowed and the impugned order of detention in No.3/2006/CS, dated 22.11.2006 is quashed. The detenu is directed to be released forthwith, unless his presence is required in connection with any other case.

To:

1.The Secretary to Government,

Food Co-operation and

Consumer Protection Department,=

Fort St.George, Chennai-9.

2.The Additional Secretary,

Government of India,

Ministry of Consumer, Food and

Public Distribution,

Department of Consumer Affairs,

Room No.270, Krishi Bhavan,

New Delhi-110 001.

3.The Secretary to Government,

Food and Consumer Protection Department,

Government of India, New Delhi-1.

4.The District Collector & District Magistrate,

Theni District, Theni.

5.The Superintendent of Prison,

Central Prison, Madurai.


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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