-Report by Sejal Jethva
In Suraj VS the State of Maharashtra Home Department (Special), the petitioner filed a writ petition alleging that a total of seven violations were committed between the years of 2013 and 2022, with just two of those offences occurring in the latter year.
The petitioner is challenging the legality or lack thereof of the impugned order dated 20/10/2022 made by respondent No.2 / District Magistrate, Amravati in accordance with Section 3(1) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons, Video Pirates, Sand Smugglers, and Persons Engaged in Black Marketing of Essential Commodities Act, 1981 (MPDA Act)
Senior Counsel testifying on behalf of the petitioner fiercely argued that both of the impugned orders are defective in law, lacking in rational thought and reflecting subjective pleasure with the claimed detainee’s actions. He would contend that the detention order essentially violates the tenets on four different levels. First, he claimed that neither the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) nor the Detaining Authority interacted with Witnesses ‘A’ and ‘B’ to record their subjective satisfaction or the accuracy of the statements made by the witnesses. Second, he asserted that the Detaining Authority disregarded the bail decisions made in various cases.
The Detaining Authority was not given or given copies of these bail orders, and this fact was not taken into consideration before the detention order was granted. Thirdly, he asserted that the detenue’s alleged actions are primarily directed against individuals and would most likely result in a law and order issue rather than a threat to the general public order. Finally, he asserted that there was an unexplained delay in serving the confirmation order on the detinue, which led to the petitioner’s filing of an effective response.
Contrarily, the Public Prosecutor testifying on behalf of respondents Nos. 1 and 2 State argued that the detention’s grounds contain all pertinent information, demonstrating unequivocally that the detaining authority carefully considered all of the information presented to it before reaching a conclusion that, in his view, is grounded in legal principles. While taking such drastic action, the detaining authority is not breaking any laws. He would contend that the SDPO spoke with both witnesses, went to the location they had described, and only then filed his report, which the Detaining Authority had looked over as material.
Then he would contend that the grounds for detention reflect the Detaining Authority’s consideration of the bail orders. He further argued that the detinue’s activities have a negative impact on public order and that residents in the area are afraid to approach law enforcement agencies or the court to freely testify against the detinue because of this fear. He continued by saying that the situations that the detaining authority was considering were directly related to the custody order.
1. The third paragraph of the reasons for imprisonment states that a total of seven violations were reported between 2013 and 2022. Similar preventative measures were taken against the detained in Chapter Case No. 38/2017, and a bond was executed for three years of good conduct. Only two of the seven offences, those registered in 2022 at the Paratwada Police Station, along with the in-camera statements of witnesses A and B, were taken into consideration by the detaining authority for the current order of detention, as stated in Paragraph No. 4.
2. In the present case, the issue was brought before the Advisory Board, which determined that there was adequate justification to maintain custody. Only then, the State Government affirmed the detention in its decision dated 24 November 2022, which was effective immediately and would last for 12 months. The confirmation order was issued by the government on 24 November 2022, but the detention order was issued on 20 October 2022. It demonstrates that the order was upheld within five weeks of the date of the detention order. As a result, there is no delay in confirming the government’s custody order.
3. As a result, we believe the petitioner’s argument in the current writ petition lacks merit. The petition is consequently without merit and subject to dismissal for the grounds listed above. Therefore, the petition is denied. The rule is still in effect.
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