24 June 2024


High Court of Madras

Sagunthala Vs. The Secretary to the Government, Home, Prohibition and Excise Department and Ors.




Unexplained delay in disposal of the representation made on behalf of the detenu is sufficient to set aside detention order

The Petitioner is the mother of the detenu. The detenu has been detained by the second Respondent holding him to be a "Goonda", as contemplated under Section 2(f) of Tamil Nadu Act, 1982. The said order is under challenge in present Habeas Corpus Petition.

The Petitioner submitted that, there is gross violation of procedural safeguards, which would vitiate the detention. The learned counsel further submitted that, the representation made by the Petitioner was not considered on time and there was an inordinate and unexplained delay.

In Rekha vs. State of Tamil Nadu, the Honourable Supreme Court has held that, the procedural safeguards are required to be zealously watched and enforced by the Courts of law and their rigour cannot be allowed to be diluted on the basis of the nature of the alleged activities undertaken by the detenu. In Sumaiya vs. The Secretary to Government, a Division Bench of this Court has held that, the unexplained delay of three days in disposal of the representation made on behalf of the detenu would be sufficient to set aside the order of detention.

In the subject case, admittedly, there is an inordinate and unexplained delay of 10 days in submitting the remarks by the Detaining Authority and unexplained delay of 23 days in considering the representation by the Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise Department. The impugned detention order is quashed. Petition allowed.

Tags : Procedural safeguards Detention Legality

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