The Madras High Court in a Habeas Corpus Petition calling for records in connection with the order of detention passed by the District Magistrate reiterated that any inordinate and unexplained delay by the Government in considering the representation renders the very detention illegal.

The Division Bench of Justice P.N. Prakash and Justice N. Anand Venkatesh while referring to the case of Tara Chand vs. State of Rajasthan and others 1980 (2) SCC 321 said –

“… the Honourable Supreme Court has held that any inordinate and unexplained delay on the part of the Government in considering the representation renders the very detention illegal. In the subject case, admittedly, there is an inordinate and unexplained delay of 13 days in considering the representation by the Hon'ble Minister for Home, Prohibition and Excise Department. The impugned detention order is, therefore, liable to be quashed.”

The Detention Order in question was passed in June and a representation was made on behalf of the detenu. The remarks were called for by the Government from the Detaining Authority and thereafter, the Government considered the matter and passed the order rejecting the representation in July.

Advocate S. Sujatha appeared on behalf of the petitioner while the Additional Public Prosecutor R. Muniyapparaj represented the respondents.

Brief Facts –

The petitioner is the mother of the detenu. The detenu was detained by the District Collector and District Magistrate by his order holding him to be a "Goonda", as contemplated under Section 2(f) of the Tamil Nadu Act, 1982. The said order was under challenge in the petition.

The counsel for the petitioner, by placing authorities, submitted before the Court that the representation made on behalf of the detenu was not considered in time and there was an inordinate and unexplained delay. However, the counsel for the respondents strongly opposed the petition by filing his counter and contended that though there was a delay in considering the representation, on that score alone, the detention order cannot be quashed.

The High Court after hearing both parties observed, “In the result, the Habeas Corpus Petition is allowed and the order of detention in D.O.No.C2/30/2022 dated 08.06.2022 passed by the second respondent is set aside. The detenu viz., Jaison, Son of Vincent Paulraj, is directed to be released forthwith unless his detention is required in connection with any other case.”

Accordingly, the Court allowed the petition and set aside the order.

Cause Title- Francisca v. The Additional Chief Secretary to Government and Ors.

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