28 October 1970
Supreme Court


Case number: Writ Petition (Civil) 77 of 1970






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 28/10/1970


CITATION:  1971 AIR 2486            1971 SCR  (2) 711

ACT: Code  of Criminal Procedure (5 of 1898), s. 144 and  Chapter VIII-If violative of Art 19 of Constitution.

HEADNOTE: On  the questions: (1) Whether s. 144 and, (2) Ch.  VIII  of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898, violated Art. 19(a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Constitution, HELD   (By  Full  Court)  :  1(a)  Article  19(2)   of   the Constitution,  which  was  substituted  with   retrospective effect by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951, must be  held to have been in force from 26th January 1950.  [719 B] (b)  The   fiction   in  the  amendment  is  to   make   the Constitution be read with the new clause and no other, and a law restricting the freedom in the interests of public order (among  others , or in the interest of the  general  public, must be held to be saved, not as the result of the amendment but  because of these available restrictions operating  from the inception of the Constitution, that is, from January 26, 1950.    Whatever   may   be  said   of   a   law   declared unconstitutional before the first Amendment, cannot be  said of   a  law which is being considered today after the  First Amendment.[718 G-H; 719 A] (c)  In this Court the doctrine of ’preferred position’  for fundamental  rights  has never found ground.   All  existing laws  are continued till this ’Court declares them to be  in conflict with a fundamental right and, the burden is on  the person  who contends that a particular law has  become  void after the coming into force of the Constitution by reason of Art.  13(1) read with any of the guaranteed  freedoms.   The burden  is not on the State to prove the  reasonableness  of the restriction. [721 C-G] (d)  The  expression  ’in the interest of public  order,  in Art. 19(2) of the Constitution is wider than ’maintenance of public order’, because, a law may not have been designed  to directly  maintain  public order and yet it  may  have  been



enacted in the interest of, public order; and ’public order, is  capable of taking within itself not only the absence  of those  acts which disturb the security of the State  or  the absence  of  insurrection,  riot, turbulence  or  crimes  of violence,  but also absence of certain acts,  which  disturb public  tranquility  or are breaches of peace. it  will  not however  take  in  any of the acts which  disturb  only  the seniority of others. [722-A-B; 124 E-H] Ramnjilal Modi v. State of U.P. [1957] S.C.R. 860,  Virendra v.  State of Punjab, [1958] S.C.R. 308 and Dr.  Ram  Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar, [1966] 1 S.C.R. 709, followed. Superintendent,  Central  Prison  Fategarh  v.  Ram  Manahar Lohia, [1960] 2 S.C.R. 821, referred to. (e)  The area of detention by a Magistrate under the Code of Criminal  Procedure and the area under the laws relating  to preventive detention are entirely different.  In the case of prevention detention of persons without 712 trial on the subjective determination of the executive  this Court   has   confined  the  meaning   of   the   expression ’maintenance of public order’ to graver ,episodes.  But that consideration  need  not  always apply  because  local  dis- turbances  of  the even tempo of life  also  affect  ’public order’ in the sense of a state of law abidingness  vis-a-vis the safety of others. [725 E-G; 726 A-B] (f)  The gist of action under s. 144 is  the urgency of  the situation  and its efficacy in the likelihood of being  able to prevent some harmful consequences.  It is not an ordinary power.  flowing  from administration but a power used  in  a judicial  manner  and  which  can  stand  ’further  judicial scrutiny.   As  it  is possible to  act  under  the  section absolutely  and even ex-parte the emergency must be  sudden, and  the  consequences sufficiently grave.   Therefore,  the matter falls within the restrictions which the  Constitution itself  visualises as permissible in the interest of  public order or in the interest of general public. [727 D-F; 728 A- B] (g)  Ordinarily  the  order  would ’be  directed  against  a person  found acting or likely to act in a particular,  way. But the effect of the order being in the interest of  public order and in the interests of general public, occasions  may arise  when it is not possible to distinguish between  those whose conduct must be controlled and those whose conduct  is clear.  A general order may be necessary when the number  of persons  is so large that the distinction between  them  and the general public cannot be made.  A general order is  thus justified,  but if the action is too general, the order  may be  questioned by appropriate reinedies for which  there  is ample provision in law.  A person affected by the order  can ask  the order to be vacated as against him, he can  file  a revision  and  even  a petition for issue of  a  writ.   The restraint  is  temporary, the power is exercised  by  senior Magistrates  who  have to make a judicial enquiry  and  give reasons  for the order with an opportunity to  an  aggrieved person  to have it rescinded either by the Magistrate or  by superior   courts.    Therefore,   the   section   is    not unconstitutional if properly applied and the fact it may  be abused is no ground for striking it down.  If it is  abused, the remedy is to question the exercise of the power as being outside the grant of law. [728 F-H; 729 A-C] Babulal Parate v. State of Maharashtra, [1961] 3 S.C.R.  423 and  State  ,of Bihar v. K. K. Misra, [1969] 3  S.C.R.  423, referred to.



2(a) (Per Hidayatullah, C.J., Shelat, Mitter,  Vaidialingam, Ray  and Dua, JJ.) Both ss. 106 and 107 in Ch.  VIII of  the Code,  are  counter  parts of the  same  policy,  the  first applying  when by ’reason of the conviction of  the  person, his past conduct leads to an apprehension for the future and the second applying where the Magistrate, on information, is of  the  opinion  that unless prevented from  so  acting,  a person is likely to act to the detriment of public peace and public  tranquility.  Section 107 enables certain  specified class es  of  Magistrates to make an order  calling  upon  a person  to  show  cause why he should not  be  ordered  to execute  a  bond with or without sureties for  keeping  the peace  for  such  period  not  exceeding  one  year  as  the Magistrate  thinks  fit to fix.  The  condition  for  taking action  is that the Magistrate is informed and he is of  the opinion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding  that a  person is likely to commit a breach of peace  or  disturb the  public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that  may probably  occasion a breach of peace or disturb  the  public tranquillity.   The section is aimed at persons who cause  a reasonable  apprehension  of  conduct likely to  lead  to  a breach   of   the  peace  or  disturbance  to   the   public tranquillity. [729 H; 730 A-B, F-G] The procedure for taking action is set out in the  remaining sections  of  the Chapter.  The gist of the Chapter  is  the prevention   of   crimes   and   ,disturbances   of   public tranquillity and breaches of the peace.  The action 713 being  preventive  is  not based on overt acts  but  on  the potential danger to be averted.  But the provision is not  a law  for detention contemplated by Art. 22.  Primarily,  the provisions enable the Magistrate to require the execution of a  bond and not to detain a person.  Detention results  only on default of the execution of a bond.  The person sought to be  bound over has rights which the trial of a summons  case confers  on an accused.  The law requires the Magistrate  to state  his  reasons  and  the  order  is  capable  of  being questioned  in superior courts.- These provisions  are  thus essentially conceived in the interest of public order and in the  interest of the general public.  If the  prevention  of crimes  and  breach  of  peace  and  disturbance  of  public tranquillity  are  directed to the maintenance of  the  even tempo  of community life they are in the interest of  public order,  and  there is nothing contrary to Art.  19(1),  (a), (b),  (c) and (d), because, the limits of  the  restrictions are  well within cls. (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the  Article. Therefore, the Chapter is constitutionally valid. [729 G; 734 D-H; 735 H; 736 A-C] (b)  Section  117(3) enables the Magistraite to ask  for  an interim  bond  pending  the completion of  inquiry  by  him. Section  117(1)  and (2) require the Magistrate  to  inquire into  the truth of the information that the  person  brought before  him  is likely to commit a breach of  the  peace  or disturb  the  tranquillity.   Hence,  the  Magistrate   must proceed to inquire into the truth of the information and  it is only after Prima facie satisfying himself about the truth of  the  information  and after  recording  his  reasons  in writing can the interim bond be asked for.  Therefore, it is not  open  to  a Magistrate to  adjourn  the  case  without’ entering upon an enquiry and in the interval send the person to jail if he fails to furnish a bond. [732 H; 734 r)-F] As  the liberty of a person is involved and that  person  is being proceeded against on information and suspicion, it  is necessary  to put a strict construction upon the  powers  of



the  Magistrate.   It  would  make  the  Magistrates  action administrative  if he were to pass an order for  an  interim bond  without entering upon the inquiry and at  least  prima facie enquiry into the truth of the information on which the order  calling upon the person to show cause is based.  [733 G; 735 A-B] In  re,: Muthuswami, I.L.R. [1954] Mad. 335 (F.B.), In re  : Venkatasubba  Reddy, A.I.R. 1955 A.P. 96; Jagdish Prasad  v. State,  A.I.R.  1957 Pat. 106; Jalaluddin  Kunju  v.  State, A.I.R.   1952  Tr.  &  Co.  262,  Shravan  Kumar  Gupta   v. Superintendent,  District Jail, Mathura & Ors., A.I.R.  1957 All.  189,  Jangir Singh v. State, A.I.R.  1960  Punj.  225; Ramgowda & Ors. v. State of Mysore, A.I.R. 1960 Mys. 259 and Ratilal Jasral v. State, I.L.R. [1956] Bom. 385, approved. Emperor  v.  Nabibux  & Ors.  A.I.R.  1942  Sind  86,  Dulal Chandra Mondal v. State, A.I.R. 1953 Cal. 238, Gani Ganai  & Ors’  v.  State, A.I.R. 1959 J. & K. 125 and  Laxmi  Lal  v. Bherulal A.I.R. 1958 Raj. 349, overruled. (c)  There is no room for invocation of ss. 55 or 91 of  the Code  of  Criminal Procedure in considering  the  effect  of Chapter VII. [736 D] Vasudeo  Ojha & Ors. v. State of U.P. A.I.R. 1958 All.  578, overruled. (d)  Bail  is only for continued appearance of a person  and not to prevent him from committing certain acts.  To release a  person being proceeded against under ss. 107/112  of  the Code  is  to frustrate the very purpose of  the  proceedings unless his good behavior is ensured by taking a bond in that behalf. [736 F-G] 714 Per  Bhargava,  J. : (a) Under s. 107 the  Magistrate  takes action  when  he is informed that any person  is  likely  to commit a breach of peace or disturb the public  tranquillity only  after  forming  an opinion that  there  is  sufficient ground for proceeding against him.  He cannot start proceed- ings  merely  on information.  The Magistrate can  form  his opinion  on the basis of the information supplied to him  if he finds that the information given is in sufficient  detail and reliable enough.  If the information is, not sufficient, it  will  be his duty to hold further  inquiry  and  satisfy himself  that it is a fit case where action should be  taken because   sufficient  grounds  exist.   It  is   after   the Magistrate has taken these steps that he can proceed to make the  order under s. 112.  When making that order he  has  to record  in  it in writing the substance of  the  information received which necessarily means the part of the information which  was the basis.of his opinion that sufficient  grounds exist  for  initiating  the  proceedings.   It  is  at  this preliminary  stage that the Magistrate is thus  required  to ensure that a prima facie case does exist for the purpose of initiating  proceedings  against  the person who  is  to  be called upon to furnish security for keeping the peace.  [737 C-H] After  the order under s. 112 has been issued the  procedure under  ss. 113 and 114 has to be followed.  The  proceedings to  be  taken thereafter are laid down in  s.  117(1)  which requires  that  as soon as the order under s. 112  has  been read or explained to the person in court under s. 113 or  to the  person  who is brought before the Magistrate  under  s. 114, the Magistrate has to proceed to inquire into the truth of the information upon which the action has been taken  and to take further evidence as may be necessary.  This  inquiry has to be held in the manner prescribed for trial of summons cases.   Thus, s. 117(1) contains a mandatory  direction  to the  Magistrate to start proceedings of inquiry as  soon  as



the  person  in respect of whom the order under s.  112  has been  made  appears  before  him.   This  provision  cannot, however,  be interpreted as requiring that the inquiry  must begin immediately when the person appears in court, because, it is impracticable to do so.  It is uncertain as to when  a person  will appear in court and the Legislature  could  not have contemplated that in such contingencies witnesses  must be kept in readiness in the court awaiting the appearance of the  person  concerned.  Further, since the  result  of  the inquiry  may be that the person concerned has to  execute  a bond, with the risk of losing his liberty if he defaults, he is  entitled  to  be  represented by a  lawyer  and  be  can legitimately ask for a reasonable adjournment to enable  him to engage a lawyer.  Therefore, the proper interpretation of s.  117(1) is that the inquiry must begin as soon as  it  is practicable,  and the Magistrate would be committing  breach of  the  direction  contained  in  this  sub-section  if  he postpones the inquiry without sufficient reasons.  In such a situation,  the Magistrate can direct the person in  respect of  whom the order under s. 112 has been made to  execute  a bond pending completion of the inquiry under s. 117(1). [738 A-B, C-D, E-H; 738 A-C] (b)  This  power  under  s. 117(3)  is  usually  invoked  in emergent cases where the Magistrate has at an earlier stage, issued  the  warrant  under s. 144, where  breach  of  peace cannot be prevented otherwise than by immediate arrest.  The Legislature,  having  empowered  a  Magistrate  to  issue  a warrant  of arrest, naturally proceeded further to give  him power in such cases to direct that bond for keeping peace be furnished pending completion of the inquiry.  The expression ’completion of the inquiry must be interpreted as the period covered  from  the  beginning  of  the  inquiry  until   its conclusion.   Such  a  power is  obviously  necessary  where there,  is  immediate  danger of breach  of  the  peace  and immediate measures are necessary for   its  prevention.   When  the  inquiry  is   held   the correctness  of  the information and the  tentative  opinion formed ex parte under s. 107 will be 715 properly  tested after going through the judicial  procedure prescribed,   and,  if  it  is  found  that  there  was   no justification,  the order would be revoked.  Therefore,  the grant  of  the  power  to the  Magistrate  is  a  reasonable restriction  on  the personal liberty of a citizen.   It  is needed for prevention of crimes and it can only be effective if its exercise is permitted on the basis of opinion  formed by  a  competent  authority  that  immediate  measures   are required. [739 G-H; 740 A-D] (c)  A person may be detained in jail even prior to a  court arriving at a judicial finding, but such a procedure is  not only reasonable  but essential.  The power is  similar  to that  given  to a Magistrate to order the detention,  as  an undertrial  prisoner,  of a person accused of  a  cognizable offence  even though, in law, he is deemed to  be  innocent. [740 E-F] (d)  Further,  the validity of the provision should  not  be judged from the likelihood of the abuse of the power by  the Magistrate.   If the hearing is unnecessarily delayed  while keeping the person in detention, the proceedings are  liable to  be  quashed on the ground that the  Magistrate  has  not complied with the requirements of s. 117(1). [741 A-C] Therefore,  the  power  under s.  117(3)  can  be  exercised without  the  Magistrate recording evidence  and  finding  a prima facie case after starting the inquiry under s. 117(1). But, even on this interpretation s. 117(3) is valid and is a



reasonable  restriction under Art. 19(2), (3), (4) and  (5). [741 E]

JUDGMENT: ORIGINAL  JURISDICTION  Writ Petitions Nos. 77  and  307  of 1970. Petition under Art. 32 of the Constitution of India. W.P. No. 77 of 1970. Madhu Limaye,appeared in person. Nur-ud-din  Ahmed,  K. P. Varma and D.  Goburdhun,  for  the respondents Nos. 1 to 4. Niren De, Attomey-General, R. H. Dhebar, H. R. Khanna and S. P. Nayar, for the Attorney-General for India. W.P. No. 307 of 1970. Madhu Limaye, ’appeared in person. Rajendra Chaudhuri and Pratap Singh, for petitioner No. 2. C.   K.  Daphtary,  L. M. Singhvi and O. P.  Rana,  for  the respondents. Niren De, Attorney-General for India, R. H. Dhebar, H. R. Khanna,  S. P. Nayar and R. N. Sachthey, for  the  Attorney- General’  for India and Union of India. Interveners S.   C. Agarwal and D. P. Singh, for interveners Nos.  I  to 3. 716 A.   S.  R.  Chari,  S.  C. Agarwal and  D.  P.  Singh,  for intervener Nos. 4 and 7. S.   C. Agarwal, D. P. Singh and Asif Ansari, for intervener Nos. 4 and 7. Shiva Pujan Singh, for intervener No. 6. D. P. Singh, for intervener No. 8. The  Judgment  of Hidayatullah C.J., J. M.,  Shelat,  G.  K. Mitter,  C. A. Vaidialingam, A. N. Ray and I. D. Du  ,  JJ., was delivered by Hidayatullah C.J. V. Bhargava J.  delivered a partly dissenting opinion. Hidayatullah C.J. During the hearing of these petitions  the constitutional  validity of s. 144 and Chapter VIII  of  the Code  of Criminal Procedure was challenged and this  Special Bench   was  nominated  to  consider  the  issue.    Lengthy arguments were addressed to us by the petitioner and several interveners.  The matter, as we shall show later, lies in  a narrow  compass.  At the end of the arguments  we  announced our  conclusion  that  the  said  provisions-of  the   Code, properly  understood, were not in excess of the limits  laid down  in  the Constitution,  for  restricting  the  freedoms guaranteed by Art. 19 (1) (a) (b) (c) and (d) We reservedour reasons and now we proceed to give them. We are required to test the impugned provisions against  the first four sub-clauses of the first clause of the nineteenth article.   We  may  accordingly begin by  reading  the  sub- clauses               19.   (1) All citizens shall have the right-               (a)   to freedom of speech and expression;               (b)   to assemble Peaceably and without arms;               (c) to form associations or union;and               (d) to move freely throughout the territory of               India; These  sub-clauses  deal  with  four  distinct  but  loosely related  topics.  They preserve certain personal as well  as group freedoms.  They allow an individual freedom of  speech and  movement and as a member of a group (and for the  group also)  the  same  freedoms plus the right  of  assembly  and formation   of  associations  and  unions.    Although   the



guarantees  appear to be in absolute terms, in reality  they are  not  so.   A  number  of  restrictive  exceptions   are engrafted  upon each of the freedom  previously  guaranteed. The restrictions are contained in cls. (2), (3), (4) and (5) and  are related respectively to sub-cls. (a), (b), (c)  and (d) of the first clause.  Clause (5) covers sub-cls. (e) and 717 (f ) of the first clause also, but the additional fact  does not concern us.  Of these, cl. (2), as it stands today,  was not originally in the Constitution but was substituted  with retrospective  effect  by s. 3 of  the  Constitution  (First Amendment) Act 1951.  Strictly speaking there never was  any clause (2) other than the one we have before us today unless we  were  to hold that the first Amendment  was  either  not valid or not retrospective.  We were invited to do so and to reconsider,,  the  decision in I. C. Golak Nath  &  Ors.  v. State  of  Punjab  & Anr.(1) but  we  declined  because  its validity  was  not doubted at any stage in that  case.   The valdity of the Amendment therefore cannot now be questioned. As  a result we are not required to read the former cl.  (2) which never existed.  Clauses (2), (3) and (4) were  further amended  by the insertion of the words"The  sovereignty  and integrity  of  India"  in  each of them,  by  S.  2  of  the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act 1963.  The clauses as they exist today read               "(2)  Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause  (1)               shall  affect  the operation of  any  existing               law, or prevent the State from making any law,               in  so  far  as such  law  imposes  reasonable               restrictions  on  the exercise  of  the  right               conferred  by  the  said  sub-clause  in   the               interests of the sovereignty and integrity  of               India  the  security of  the  State,  friendly               relations  with foreign States, public  order,               decency   or  morality,  or  in  relation   to               contempt of court, defamation or incitement to               an offence.               (3)   Nothing  in sub-clause (b) of  the  said               clause  shall  affect  the  operation  of  any               existing  law  in  so far as  it  imposes,  or               prevent   the  State  from  making   any   law               imposing, in the interests of the  sovereignty               and  integrity  of  India  or  public   order,               reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the               right conferred by the said sub-clause.               (4)   Nothing  in sub-clause (c) of  the  said               clause  shall  affect  the  operation  of  any               existing  law  in  so far as  it  imposes,  or               prevent   the  State  from  making   any   law               imposing, in the interests of the  sovereignty               and  integrity  of India or  public  order  or               morality,   reasonable  restrictions  on   the               exercise  of the right conferred by  the  said               sub-clause, and               (5)   Nothing in sub-clause (d), (e) and (f  )               of the said clause shall affect the  operation               of  any existing law in so far as it  imposes,               or  prevent  the  State from  making  any  law               imposing, reasonable restrictions on the               (1)   (1967) 2 S.C.R. 762.               718               exercise of any of the rights conferred by the               said subclauses either in the interests of the               general  public or for the protection  of  the               interests of any Scheduled Tribe."



All  that is necessary to be decided by us is whether  these clauses  save  the  impugned  provisions  of  the  Code   as reasonable,  and  valid  restrictions  upon  the  guaranteed freedoms.   Before we proceed to do so, we may dispose of  a very ingenious argument by Mr. A. S. R. Chari     which  may be summarised thus: "The original clause     (2) had to be read on the commence- ment of the Constitutionand it was as follows               (2) Nothing in  sub-clause  (a) of clause  (1)               shall affect the operation     of any existing               law  in so far as it relates, or  prevent  the               State from making any law ,relating to, libel,               slander, defamation, contempt of ’Court or any               matter   which  offends  against  decency   or               morality  or which undermines the security  of               or  tends to  overthrow,  the  State.   This               clause did not allow restrictions to be placed               in the interests of public order on which  the               impugned   provisions  are  justified   today.               Admittedly  the other parts of clause (2)  are               not  relatable to the impugned provisions  and               cannot  save  them without the  aid  of  power               exercisable in the interests of public order.               Therefore on the coming into force of the Con-               stitution the impugned provisions of the  Code               became  void, that is to say, were  dead,  and               could  not  come  to  life,  again  when   the               Constitution  was  amended.  They  had  to  be               reenacted". Parties  joined issue on whether the provisions  were  dead, that  ’is  to  say, were erased from the  Statute  Book  and required  re-enactment, or were merely eclipsed, that is  to say,  remained ineffective till the shadow of  the  original cl.  (2) was lifted.  We do not propose to enter  into  this debate.   Assuming  that the Constitution could  be  amended with retrospective effect (a point not free altogether  from difficulty),  the purpose of the amendment is ’to  create  a fiction.    Whatever   may  be  said  of  a   law   declared unconstitutional before the First Amendment, cannot be  said of  a ’law which is being considered today after  the  First Amendment.   ’The  fiction in the amendment is to  make  the Constitution be read with the new clause and no other and  a law  restricting  the freedoms in the  interests  of  public order  (among  others) or in ,the interests of  the  general public must be held to be saved, not 719 as a result of the amendment, but because of these available restrictions   operating   from   the   inception   of   the Constitution.   Therefore, although we consider  the  matter today,  after  much  history  has  been  written  and   then unwritten  by retrospective amendments of  the  Constitution (assuming this to be permissible), we read the protection of amended cl. (2) as available from January 26, 1950 without a break.  The fiction, if given full effect leads to no  other conclusion.   In this- view of the matter we do not find  it necessary  to refer to the rulings of this Court  where  the doctrine of eclipse is considered in relation to  provisions of  laws  declared  void by Courts in  the  interval.   That reasoning ex facie cannot apply to this case. The  result,  therefore,  is that we are  only  required  to discuss whether the provisions of S. 144 and Chapter VIII of the Code can be said to be in the interests of public  order in so far as the rights of freedom of speech and expression, rights of assembly and formation of associations and  unions are c oncerned and in the interests of the general public in



so  far as they curtail the freedom of  movement  throughout the territory of India. In  this connection only two topics arise for  close  study. Firstly what is meant by the expressions "in the interest of public order" occurring in cls. (2), (3) and (4) and "in the interests  of  the  general public" occurring  in  cl.  (5). Secondly to what extent the provisions of s. 144 and Chapter VIII come within the protection. In  so far as s. 144 of the Code is concerned this Court  in Babulal Parate v. State of Maharashtra,(1) had held that the section  was  intra vires the Constitution but  doubts  were raised because the judgment of this Court spoke in terms  of in the interest of maintenance of public order’ or ’duty  of maintenance of law and order’ when the second clause of Art. 19 speaks of ’in the interest of public order.   Differences between the import of these several expressions were pointed out  in  several cases from the time the earliest  cases  of this  Court  Ramesh  Thappar  v.  State  of  Madras(2)   and Brijbhushan  v.  State of Delhi(3) down to Dr.  Ram  Manohar Lohia  v.  State of Bihar & Ors. (4 ) and some  later  cases "lowing  that case.  The effect of Babulal Parate’s(1)  case was claimed to be lost and it was submitted that the  matter needed  reconsideration.  Although the topic was once  again before  this Court in State of Bihar v. K. K. Misra &  Ors. (5)  when the second part of sub-s. (6) of the  section  was declared  invalid, the decision in Babulal Parate’s(1)  case was not considered in the light (1)(1961) 3 S.C.R. 423. (2) (1950) S.C.R. 594. (3) (1950) S.C.R. 605. (4) (1966) 1. S.C.R. 709. (5)  (1969) 3. S.C.R. 337. 720 of  other  cases of this Court mentioned  above.   Therefore this  Special  Bench  was constituted to  review  the  whole position in relation to s. 144 and Chapter VIII of the Code. The petitioner and the interveners began arguments by invok- ing  the doctrine of preferred-position for the  Fundamental Rights.  particularly  the right to freedom  of  speech  and expression.  Mr. Garg, an intervener, squarely based himself on the American doctrine.  Mr. Chari for  another-intervener was indirect.  His submission is that the Courts, when faced with  the  question  whether any  legislative  or  executive action  is constitutional or not, must range  themselves  on the  side of the Fundamental Freedoms and  consider  whether the  restrictions  are reasonable or not.  In  other  words, Courts  must  place  the burden on the State  to  prove  the reasonableness  of the restriction.  A word may,  therefore, be  said here about how the Court must proceed to examine  a challenge to the constitutional validity of laws vis-a-vis a fundamental freedom. The preferred-position doctrine in America developed by  the Roosevelt  Court  through Justices Black,  Douglas,  Murphy, Stone  and  Rutledge,  envisaged that  any  law  restricting freedom of speech, press, religion or assembly must be taken on  its face to be invalid till it was proved to  be  valid. The  doctrine was perhaps the result of a remark by  Justice Stone  in United States v. Carolena Products Co.(1). But  it has most frequently been used by Justices Black and  Douglas in  recent)  years after the deaths of Justices  Murphy  and Rutledge   in  1949.   Its  history  is  given  by   Justice Frankfurter   in  his  concurring  opinion  in   Kovacs   v. Cooper(2),  in which he rejected it.  Justice  Rutldege,  in Thomas v. Collins(3) stated it in these words:               "This  case confronts us again with  the  duty



             our  system places on this Court to say  where               the individual’s freedom ends and the  States’               power  begins  Choice on that border,  now  as               always delicate, is perhaps more so where  the               usual  presumption supporting  legislation  is               balanced  by the preferred place given in  our               scheme   to  the  great,   the   indispensable               freedoms secured by the first Amendment.  That               priority gives these liberties a sanctity  and               a sanction not permitting dubious  intrusions.               For  these  reasons any  attempt  to  restrict               those  liberties  must be justified  by  clear               public interest, threatened not doubtfully  or               remotely,  but  by clear and  present  danger.               The  rational  connection between  the  remedy               provided and the evil               (1)  (1938) 304 V.S. 144.                  (2)               (1949) 336 U.S. 77.               (3)   (1944) 323 U.S. 516.               721               to  be curbed, which in other  contexts  might               support  legislation  against  attack  on  due               process  grounds,  will  not  suffice.   These               rights rest on firmer foundation". The result of the doctrine was to shift the burden of  proof on the shoulders of those defending the legislation, without raising  in their favour the presumption of the validity  of legislation.   It,  however,  has  been  abandoned  by   the majority  of  Judges,  after 1949 when  Justices  Clark  and Minton  replaced  Justices  Murphy  and  Rutledge.   Justice Frankfurter  in  the  Kovac’s case(1)  described  it  as  ’a complicated  process  of constitutional  adjudication  by  a deceptive  formula’.   It  is sufficient  to  say  that  the preferred  position  doctrine  has not the  support  of  the Supreme Court of the United States and the  unreasonableness of the law has to be established. In  this  Court the preferred-position  doctrine  has  never found  ground although vague expressions such as  ’the  most cherished  rights’,  ’the  inviolable  freedoms’   sometimes occur.   But  this is not to say that  any  one  Fundamental Right  is superior to the other or that Art. 19  contains  a hierarchy.  Pre-constitution laws are not to be regarded  as unconstitutional.   We  do not start  with  the  presumption that,  being a pre-constitution law, the burden is upon  the State  to  establish its validity.  All  existing  laws  are continued  till this Court declares them to be  in  conflict with a fundamental right and, therefore,, void.  The  burden must  be placed on those who contend that a  particular  law has  become  void  after  the  coming  into  force  of   the Constitution  by reason of Art. 13(1) read with any of  the guaranteed freedoms. The present doubt has arisen With regard to Babulal Parate’s case(1),   as  stated  earlier,  by  not  adhering  to   the phraseology  of Art. 19(2) where the words ’In the  interest of  public order’ appear.  It is these words which  need  an exposition  and  not  the expression,  in  the  interest  of maintenance  of law and order’, which are not the  words  of the   article.   To  expound  the  meaning  of   the   right expressions  we are required to go over some  earlier  deci- sions of this Court. When Ramesh Thappar v. State of Madras(3) and Brijbhushan v. State of Delhi(4) were decided, the original clause (2)  was there.   It did not include the phrase ’in the interest  of public  order’.   The validity of statutes  was,  therefore, tested against the words ’the security of the.State’.  After



the  retrospective amendment substituted a new  clause,  the matter  fell to be considered in relation to ’public  order. In Ramjilal Modi v. State of Uttar Pradesh(1) it was pointed out that the language employed by the Constitu- (1) (1949) 336 U.S. 77.  -(2) (1961) 3 S.C.R. 423. (3) (150) S.C.R. 594.    (4) (1950) S.C.R. 605. (5) [1957] S.C. R.860. 694 Supp. CI/71 7 22 tion,  that is to say, ’in the interest of’ was  wider  than the  expression  ’for  the maintenance of’  and  the  former expression  made the ambit of the protection very wide.   It was  observed  that  ’a law may not have  been  designed  to directly  maintain  public order and yet it  may  have  been enacted in the interest of public order’.  This was ,  again reaffirmed  in Virendra v.State of Punjab(1)  distinguishing on the same ground the two cases before the First Amendment. The following passage (p. 323) may be quoted:               "It will be remembered that Art. 19(2), as  it               was  then  worded, gave protection  to  a  law               relating  to any matter which  undermined  the               security of or tended to overthrow the  State.               Section  9(1-A) of the Madras  Maintenance  of               Public  Order  was made ’for  the  purpose  of               securing public safety and the maintenance  of               public  order’.   It  was  pointed  out   that               whatever end the impugned Act might have  been               intended  to  subserve and  whatever  aim  its               framers   might   have  had   in   view,   its               application  and  scope  could  not,  in   the               absence  of  litniting words  in  the  statute               itself.  be restricted to the aggravated  form               of   activities  which  were   calculated   to               endanger  the security of the State.  Nor  was               there  any guarantee that those  officers  who               exercised  the Power under the Act, would,  in               using  them,  discriminate between  those  who               acted  prejudicially  to the security  of  the               State   and   those   who   did   not.    This               consideration  cannot  apply to the  case  now               under  consideration.  Article 19(2) has  been               amended  so as to extend its protection  to  a               law  imposing reasonable restrictions  in  the               interests  of  public order and  the  language               used  in the two sections of the impugned  Act               quite   clearly  and  explicitly  limits   the               exercise of the powersconferred by them to the               purposes   specifically   mentioned   in   the               sections and to no other purpose". We  may say at once that the distinction has our  respectful concurrence. Then  came the decision in Superintendent,  Central  Prison, Fatehgarh  v.  Ram  Manohar Lohia(2).   In  that  case,  the expression  ’in  the  interest of public order  fell  to  be considered.   Subbarao,  J.  (’as he then  was)  traced  the exposition  of  the  phrase,  particularly  the   expression ’public  order.   He referred first to the  observations  of Pataniali  Sastri,  J.  (later  C.J.)  in  Rimesh  Thappar’s case(")    (supra)   distinguishing    offences    involving disturbances of public tranquillity which the learned  Judge said  were  in  theory offences against public  order  of  a purely local significance and other forms (11) [1958] S.C.R. 308.              (12) (1960) 2 S.C.R. 821. (3)  (1950) S.C.R. 594.



723 of  public  disorders of more serious  and  aggravated  kind calculated to endanger the security of the State.  Subbarao, J.  also  quoted  the observation of Fazl Ali,  J.  in  Brij Bhushan’s case(1) :               "When  we approach the matter in this way,  we               find  that  while ’public  disorder’  is  wide               enough to cover a small riot or an affray  and               other  cases  where peace is disturbed  by  or               affects,  a  small group  or  persons,  public               unsafety’  (or insecurity of the  State)  will               usually  be  connected with  serious  internal               disorders  and  such  disturbances  of  public               tranquillity  was jeopardises the security  of               the State" (p. 612). Subbarao, J. on the strength of these observatinns concluded that public order’ was the same as ’public peace and safety’ and went on to observe :               "Presumably  in  an attempt to  get  over  the               effect of these, two decisions, the expression               ’Public order’ was inserted in Art. 19 (2)  of               the  Constitution by the  Constitution  (First               Amendment) Act, 1951, with a view to bring  in               offences  involving  breach  of  purely  local               significance  within the scope of  permissible               restrictions under cl. (2) of Art. 19". He  quoted  the  observations of the Supreme  Court  of  the United  States  in Cantwell v. Connecticut(1)  to  establish that offences against ’Public order’ were also understood as offences  against  public  safety  and  public  peace.    He referred  to  a  passage  in a  text-book  on  the  American Constitution which states :               "In  the interests of public order  the  State               may  prohibit and punish the causing of  ’loud               and  raucous  noise,  in  streets  and  public               places   by   means   of   sound    amplifying               instruments,  regulate the hours and place  of               public  discussion, and the use of the  public               streets. for the purpose of exercising freedom               of  speech;  provide  for  the  expulsion   of               hecklers from meetings and assemblies,  punish               utterances  tending  to  incite  an  immediate               breach  of the peace or riot as  distinguished               from    utterances   causing   mere    ’public               inconvenience, annoyance or unrest’." He referred also to the Public Order Act 1936 in England.. Subbarao, J. however, distinguished the American and English precedents observing :               "But  in  India under Art. 19  (2)  this  wide               concept  of ’Public order’ is split  up  under               different heads.  It               (1) [1950] S.C.R. 605.               (2) (1940) 310 U.S. 296.               7 24                  enables   the   imposition    of reasonable               restrictions  on the exercise of the right  to               freedom  of  speech  and  expression  in   the               interests  of  the  security  of  the   State,               friendly relations with foreign States, public               order, decency or morality, or in relation  to               contempt of court, defamation or incitement to               an offence.  All the grounds mentioned therein               can be brought under the general head  ’public               order’  in its most comprehensive sense.   But               the  juxtaposition  of the  different  grounds



             indicates that, though sometimes they tend  to               overlap,  they must be ordinarily intended  to               exclude each other.  ’Public order’ is  there-               fore  something which is demarcated  from  the               others.   In that limited sense,  particularly               in  view of the history of the  amendment,  it               can  be  postulated  that  ’public  order’  is               synonymous  with  public  peace,  safety   and               tranquility". His summary of his analysis of cases may be given in his own words               "Public  order"  is  synonymous  with   public               safety and tranquillity : it is the absence of               disorder    involving   breaches   of    local               significance in contradistinction to  national               upheavals,  such as revolution, civil  strife,               war, affecting the security of the State". We  may  here observe that the overlap of public  order  and public  tranquillity  is only partial.  The terms  are  not always  synonymous.  The latter is a much  wider  expression and takes in many things which cannot be described as public disorder.  The words ’public order and ’Public  tranquillity overlap  to  a certain extent but there  are  matters  which disturb  public tranquillity without being a disturbance  of public order.  A person playing loud music in his own  house in the middle of the night may disturb public tranquillity, but-  he is not causing public disorder.  Public  order’  no doubt  also  requires absence of disturbance of a  state  of serenity in society but it goes further.  It means   what the French  designate order published, defined as an absence  of insurrection,  riot, turbulence, or cry  of  violence.   The expression ’public order’ includes absence of all acts which are  a  danger to the security of the state  and  also  acts which  are comprehended. by the expression ’order  publique’ explained above but not acts which disturb only the serenity of others. The English and American precedents and legislation are  not of much help_.  The Public Order Act 1936 was passed because in   1936  different  political  organisations  marched   in uniforms  causing  riots.  In America  the  First  Amendment freedoms have 725 no  such qualifications as in India and the rulings are  apt to be misapplied to our Constitution. In  the next case of this Court reported in Dr. Ram  Manahar Lohia  v. State off Bihar & Ors.(1) it was pointed out  that for expounding the phrase ’maintenance of public order’               "One has to imagine three concentric  circles.               Law  and order represents the  largest  circle               within  which is the next circle  representing               public   order   and   the   smallest   circle               represents the security of the State". All cases of disturbances of public tranquillity fall in the largest circle but, some of them are outside ’public  order’ for  the  purpose  of  the phrase  ’maintenance  of  public order’,  similarly  every  breach of  public  order  is  not necessarily a case of an act likely to endanger the security of the State. Adopting  this  test  we may say that the State  is  at  the centre and society surrounds it.  Disturbances of society go in a broad spectrum from mere disturbance of the serenity of life  to jeopardy of the State.  The acts become graver  and graver  as  we  journey from the periphery  of  the  largest circle towards the centre.  In this journey we travel  first through  public tranquillity, then through public order  and



lastly to the security of the State. In dealing with the phrase ’maintenance of public order’  in the  context  of  preventive  detention,  we  confined   the expression  in the relevant Act to what was included in  the second  circle  and left out that which was in  the  largest circle.   But  that  consideration  need  not  always  apply because small local disturbances of the even tempo of  life, may  in  a  sense  be said to affect  ’public  order’  in  a different  sense,  namely, in the sense of a state  of  law- abidingness vis-a-vis the safety of others.  In our judgment the  expression  ’in the interest of public  order’  in  the Constitution  is  capable of taking within itself  not  only those  acts which disturb the security of the State  or  are within  ordre  publique as dewribed but  also  certain  acts which  disturb  public tranquillity or are breaches  of  the peace.   It  is not necessary to give to  the  expression  a narrow meaning because, as has been observed, the expression ’in  the interest of public order7 is very  wide.   Whatever may be said of ’maintenance of public-order’ in the  context of  special  laws entailing detention of persons  without  a trial on the pure subjective determination of the  Executive cannot  be said in other circumstances.  In the former  case this  Court  confined  the meaning to  graver  episodes  not involving cases of law and order which are not  disturbances of public tranquillity but of ordre publique. (1)  [1966] 1 S.C.R. 709. 726 it  was argued that there cannot be two kinds  of  detention one  by Magistrates under the Code of Criminal Procedure  an another under laws made for preventive detention under  Art. 2  of the Constitution.  In our opinion the area of the  two is  entitled  rely different an there  is,  therefore,  good classification.    We  proceed  to  consider  the   impugned provisions of the Code in light of what we have said above. We first take up for consideration s. 144 of the Code. finds place  in  Chapter XI which contains one  section  only.  is headed  ’Temporary  Orders  in  urgent  cases  of   nuisance apprehended  danger’.  The section confers powers  to  issue order  absolute  at  once in urgent  cases  of  nuisance  or apprehended  danger.  Such orders may be made  by  specified classes   Magistrates  when  in  their  opinion   there   is sufficient ground proceeding under the section and immediate prevention  or speedy remedy is desirable.  It requires  the Magistrate  to issue his order in writing setting forth  the material facts of the case the order is to be served in  the manner  provided  by  s. 134 of the Code.   The  order  may direct :               (A)   Any  person  to abstain from  a  certain               act, or               (B)   to  take  certain  order  with   certain               property in               his possession or under his management. The grounds for making the order are that in the opinion  of the Magistrate such direction               (a)is  likely  to  prevent  or  (b)  tends  to               prevent, (i)obstruction (ii) annoyance or (iii) injury, to any person law  fully employed or (iv) danger to human life, health  or safety o(v)    a  disturbance of the public tranquillity  or (vi) a riot o (vii) an affray. Stated  briefly  the section provides for the making  of  an which  is either prohibitory (A) or mandatory (B) as  above. Its  efficacy  is that (a) it is likely to  prevent  or  (b) tends  to prevent, some undesirable happenings.  The gist  o these happenings are



             (i)   obstruction, annoyance or injury to  any               person lawfully employed; or               (ii)  danger to human life, health or  safety;               or               (iii) a disturbance of the public tranquillity               or a riot or an affray. The procedure to be followed is next stated.  Under sub-s (2)  if time does not permit or the order cannot be  served, it can  727 be  made  ex  parte.   Under sub-s. (3)  the  order  may  be directed  to  a  particular individual  or  to  the  public, generally  when frequenting or visiting a particular  place. Under sub-s. (4) the Magistrate may either suo matu or on an application  by  an aggrieved person, rescind or  alter  the order whether his own or by a Magistrate subordinate to  him or  made  by his predecessor in Office.   Under  sub-s.  (5) where the Magistrate is moved by a person aggrieved he  must hear him so that. he may show cause against the order and if the Magistrate rejects wholly or in part the application, he must  record  his reasons in writing.  This  sub-section  is mandatory.   An order by the Magistrate does not  remain  in force after two months from the making thereof but the State Government may, however, extend the period by a notification in  the Gazette but, only in cases of danger to human  life, health or safety or where there is a likelihood of a riot or an  affray.  But the second portion of  the  subsection  was declared  violative  of Art. 19 in State of Bihar v.  K.  K. Misra(1).   It may be pointed out here that disobedience  of an  order lawfully promulgated is made an offence by S.  188 of  the  Indian  Penal Code,  if  such  disobedience  causes obstruction,   annoyance  or  injury  to   persons   lawfuly employed.  It is punishable with simple imprisonment for one month or fine of Rs. 200 or both. The  gist  of  action under s. 144 Is  the  urgency  of  the siutation,  its efficacy in the likelihood of being able  to prevent some harmful occurrences.  As it is possible to  act absolutely and even exparte it is obvious that the emergency must  be  sudden and the  consequences  sufficiently  grave. Without   it   the   exercise  of  power   would   have   no justification.   It  is not an ordinary power  flowing  from administration  but  a power used in a judicial  manner  and which  can stand further judicial scrutiny in the  need  for the exercise of the power, in its efficacy and in the extent of its application.  There is no general proposition that an order  under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code cannot  be passed  without taking evidence : see Mst.  Jagrulia  Kumari v.  Chobey Narain Singh (2) which in our opinion is  correct in  laying  down this proposition.  Tese  fundamental  facts emerge  from the way the occasions for the exercise  of  the power  are mentioned.  Disturbances of public  tranquillity, riots  and affray lead to subversion of public order  unless they  are prevented in time.  Nuisances dangerous  to  human fife,  health  or  safety have no doubt  to  be  abated  and prevented.  We are, however, not concerned with this part of the  section  and  the validity of thus  part  need  not  be decided  here.  In so far as the other parts of the  section are  conceded the key-note of the power is to  free  society from  menace of serious disturbances of a  grave  character. The section is directed against those who attempt to prevent the exercise of (1) [1969] S.C.R. 337. (2) 37 Cr.  C.J. 95. 7 28 legal  rights  by others or imperil the  public  safety  and



health.   If  that  be so the matter must  fall  within  the restrictions  which  the Constitution itself  visualises  as permissible  in  the, interest of public order,  or  in  the interest  of the general public.  We may say, however,  that annoyance  must  assume sufficiently  grave  proportions  to bring the matter within interests of public order. The  criticism,  however. is that the section  suffers  from over broadness and the words of the section are wide  enough to  give  an absolute power which may be.  exercised  in  an unjustifiable case and then there would be no remedy  except to  ask the Magistrate to cancel the order which he may  not do.   ’Revision against his determination to the High  Court may  prove  illusory  because  before  the  High  Court  can intervene  the  mischief  will be done.   Therefore,  it  is submitted  that an inquiry should precede the making of  the order.  In other words, the burden should not be placed upon the  person  affected to clear his  position.   Further  the order  may be so general as to affect not only a  particular party  but  persons who are innocent, as  for  example  when there is ,in order banning meetings, processions, playing of music etc, The  effect  of the order being in the  interest  of  public order and the interests of the general public, occasions may arise  when it is not possible to distinguish between  those whose  conduct must be controlled and those who  conduct  is clear.  As was pointed out in Babulal Parate’s case(1) where two  rival trade unions clashed and it was difficult to  say whether  a person, belonged to one of the unions or  to  the general  public, an order restricting the activities of  the general public in the particular area was justified. It may be pointed out that mere disobedience of the order is not  enough  to  constitute an offence.  There  must  be  in addition  obstruction. annoyance, or danger to  human  life, health  or safety or a riot or an affray before the  offence under  s. 188, Indian Penal Code is constituted.   Thus  the person affected has several remedies.  He can ask the  order to  be vacated as against him, lie can file a  revision  and even  a  petition for a writ.  But no person can ask  to  be considered  free to do what he likes when there are  grounds for  ’thinking that his conduct would be of, the  kind  des- cribed  in  the section for purposes of  preventive  action. Ordinarily  the  order would be directed  against  a  person found  acting  or  likely to act in  a  particular  way.   A general order may be necessary when the number of persons is so  large  that  distinction between them  and  the  general public  cannot  be made without the risks mentioned  in  the section.   A  general  order is thus justified  but  if  the action  is  too  general, the order  may  be  questioned  by appropriate  remedies for which there is ample provision  in the law. (1)  [1961] 3 S.C.R. 423. 729 All  these  matters were considered also by  this  Court  in Babulal Parate’s case(1).  In that case the Court emphasised that  the restraint is temporary, the power is exercised  by senior Magis-trates who have to set down the material facts, in  other  words,  tomake  an inquiry  in  the  exercise  of judicial   power  with  reasons  for  the  order,  with   an opportunity  to  an  aggrieved person  to  haveit  rescinded either  by the Magistrate or the superior Courts.   We  have reconsidered all these matters and are satisfied that  there are  sufficient safeguards available to person  affected  by the  order and the restriction-, therefore  are  reasonable. We  are  of opinions that s.144 is not  unconstitutional  if properly  applied and the fact that it may be abused  is  no



ground  for  striking  it -down.  The  remedy  then  is  to question the exercise of power as being outside the grant of the law. We next proceed to consider the constitutional validity  of’ Chapter  VIII of the Code.  It finds place in Part IV  which has  the explanatory heading ’Prevention of Offences’.   The Chapter  is  divided into three divisions A, B  and  C.  The purport  of  the  Chapter  can be  gathered  from  its  sub- heading  of  Security  for keeping the Peace  and  for  good behaviour.’ Division  A  is  for  security  for  keeping  the  peace  on conviction.  It consists of only one section (S. 106) and it provides that on conviction for certain offences, the  Court may,  at  the  time  of  passing  sentence  on  the   person convicted,  if  of opinion, that it is necessary to  take  a bond for future good behaviour, order him to execute a bond, with  or  without  sureties, for keeping the  peace’  for  a period  not  exceeding three years.  The sum for  which  the bond  is taken is proportionate to the means of  the  person and it becomes void if the conviction ultimately fails.  The section  is  bed at persons whose past  conduct  has  proved dangerous   to,  the  public  and  is  intended  to   secure tranquillity and peace. Division  B  then consists of 12 sections (ss.  107-110  and 112119)  and applies to cases other than those mentioned  in S.  106.  Of these, s. 107 is for taking security  generally for  keeping  the, peace; S. 108 is for  security  for  good behaviour  from persons disseminating sedition: S.  109  for security  for  good behaviour from  vagrants  and  suspected persons  and  S. 110 for security for  good  behaviour  from habitual offenders.  Sections 112-119 lay down the procedure to  be followed in these cases.  We are concerned  in  these cases  with the provisions of S. 107 and therefore need  not refer to ss. 108-110. The  gist of S. 107 may now be given.  It  enables  certain- specified  classes of Magistrates to make an  order  calling upon a person to show cause why he should not be ordered  to execute  a  bond, with or without sureties for  keeping  the peace for such- (1)  (1961) 3 S.C.R. 423. 730 period  not exceeding one year as the Magistrate thinks  fit to  fix.   The  condition  of  taking  action  is  that  the Magistrate  is informed and he is of opinion that there  is sufficient ground for proceeding that a person is likely  to commit  a  breach  of  the  peace  or  disturb  the   public tranquillity  or  to do any wrongful act that  may  probably occasion  a breach of the peace or disturb the public  tran- quillity.   The  Magistrate  can proceed if  the  person  is within  his  jurisdiction or the place  of  the  apprehended breach  of  the  peace or disturbance is  within  the  local limits of his jurisdiction.  The section goes on to  empower even  a Magistrate not empowered to take action,  to  record his  reason for acting, and then to order the arrest of  the person (if not already in custody or before the court)  with a view to sending him before a Magistrate empowered to  deal with  the  case, together with a copy of his  reasons.   The Magistrate  before  whom such a person is sent  may  in  his discretion  detain  such person in custody  pending  further action by him. The  section  is  aimed at persons who  cause  a  reasonable apprehension  of conduct likely to lead to a breach  of  the peace or disturbance of the public tranquillity.  This is an instance of preventive justice which the courts are intended to administer.  This provision like the preceding one is  in



aid  of orderly society and seeks to nip in the bud  conduct subversive  of the peace and public tranquillity.  For  this purpose   Magistrates  are  invested  with  large   judicial discretionary  powers for the preservation of  public  peace and order.  Therefore the justification for such  provisions is  claimed by the State to be in the function of the  State which embraces not only the punishment of offenders ’but, as far as possible, the prevention of offences. Both the sections are counter-parts of the same policy,  the first applying when by reason of the conviction of a person, his past conduct leads to an apprehension for the future and the second applying where the Magistrate, on information, is of  the  opinion  that unless prevented from  so  acting,  a person is likely to act to the detriment of the public peace and  public  tranquillity. The  argument  is  that   these sections  (more  particularly  s. 107)  are  destructive  of freedom of the individual guaranteed by Art. 1 9 (1) (a) (b) (c)   and  (d)  and  are  not  saved  by  the   restrictions contemplated by cls. (2) to (5) of the article.  It is  also contended that there are no proper procedural safeguards  in the  sections that  follow.  Before  we  deal  with  these contention it is necessary ’to glance briefly at ss. 112-119 of Division B and ss. 120-126A ,of Division C. We  have  seen the provision of s. 107.  That  section  says that action   is   to   be   taken   ’in   the-    manner hereinafter--provided and this ,clearly indicates that it is not open to a Magistrate in such a case 731 to  depart  from the procedure to  any  substantial  extent. This  is very salutary because the liberty of the person  is involved and the law is rightly solicitous that this liberty should only be curtailed according to its own procedure  and not  according to the whim of the Magistrate concerned.   It behoves us, therefore, to emphasise the safegurds built into the   procedure   because   from  there   will   arise   the consideration  of the reasonableness of the restrictions  in the  interest  of  public order or in the  interest  of  the ,general public. The  Procedure  begins with S. 112.  It  requires  that  the Magistrate  acting  under  S. 107 shall  make  an  order  in writing  setting  forth  the substance  of  the  information received,  the amount of the bond, the term for which it  is to,  be  in  force and the number, character  and  class  of sureties  (if  any)  required.   Since  the  person  to   be proceeded against has to show cause, it is but natural  that he  must know the grounds for apprehending a breach  of  the peace  or  disturbance  of the public  tranquillity  at  his hands.  Although the section speaks of the ’substance of the information’  it does not mean that the order should not  be full.  It may not repeat the information bodily but it  must give proper notice of what has moved the Magistrate to  take the   action.    This  order  is  the  foundation   of   the jurisdiction  and the word ’substance’ means the essence  of the most important parts of the information. Next follow three sections-ss. 113-115.  They deal with  the person’s  presence.   Section 113 deals with  the  situation when the person is present in court, then the order shall be read  over to him and if he so desires, the substance of  it shall  be explained to him.  This is not a  mere  formality. The  intention  is  to  explain  to  the  person  what   the allegations  against  him are.  The next  section  (S.  114) deals  with  a situation when the person is not  present  in court.   There the options two-fold.  Ordinarily, a  summons must issue to him but in cases where the immediate arrest of the person is necessary a warrant for his arrest may  issue-



This is however subject to the qualification that there must be a report of a Police Officer or other information in that behalf  and  the breach of the peace  cannot  otherwise  be prevented.    The  Magistrate  must  not  act  on  an   oral information  but  must  record the substance  of  it  before issuing  a warrant.  The section also envisages a  situation in which the person is already in custody.  In that case the Magistrate  shall  issue  a warrant  directing  the  Officer having  the custody to produce that person.  The  provisions of  this section. are quite clearly reasonable in the  three circumstances it deals with.  If the presence of the  person is  to  be secured, a summons to him is  the  normal  course except in the other two cases. 732 Section 115 then provides that such summons or warrant under S.  1  14, as the case may be, must be  accompanied  by  the order  under S. 112 and the person serving or executing  the summons  or  warrant  must serve the order  on  the  person. There is enabling power in S. 116 under which the Magistrate may  dispense with the presence of the person in  Court  and allow him to appear by a pleader., Then follows S. 117.  That section (omitting the proviso  to the third sub-section and omitting sub-ss.(4) and (5)  which do not concern us) may be read here :                 "117.  Inquiry as to truth of information-               (1)   When an order under section 112 has been               read  or  explained  under section  113  to  a               person  present in Court, or when  any  person               appears  or is brought before a Magistrate  in               compliance with, or in execution of, a summons               or  warrant  issued  under  section  114,  the               Magistrate  shall proceed to inquire into  the               truth of the information upon which action has               been  taken, and to take such evidence as  may               appear necessary.               (2)   Such inquiry shall be made, as nearly as               may be practicable, in the manner  hereinafter               prescribed for conducting trials and recording               evidence in summons cases.               (3)   Pending  the completion of  the  inquiry               under  subsection (1), the Magistrate,  if  he               considers   that   immediate   measures    are               necessary  for the prevention of a  breach  of               the   peace  or  disturbance  of  the   public               tranquillity   or  the  commission.  of-   any               offence  or  for the public safety,  may,  for               reasons to be recorded in writing, direct  the               person  in  respect of whom  the  order  under               section 1 12 has been made to execute a  bond,               with  or  without sureties,  for  keeping  the               peace on maintaining good behaviour until  the               conclusion of the inquiry, and may detain  him               in custody until such bond is executed or,  in               default  of  execution, until the  enquiry  is               coneluded". The  first  sub-section read with the  second  requires  the Magistrate  to  proceed  to inquire into the  truth  of  the information.   The third sub-section enables the  Magistrate to  ask  for an interim bond pending the completion  of  the inquiry  by  him.   This is conditioned  by  the  fact  that immediate measures are necessary for 733 the  prevention of a breach of the peace or  disturbance  of the public tranquillity or the commission of any offence  or for  protection of public safety.  This is applicable  where



the person is not in custody and his being at large  without a bond may endanger public safety etc.  ’The Magistrate  has to justify his action by reasons to be recorded in  writing. If  the  person fails to execute a bond,  with  or  without sureties,  the  Magistrate  is empowered to  detain  him  in custody. A  question was raised before us whether the Magistrate  can defer the inquiry and yet ask for an interim bond.  There is a  difference of opinion in the High Courts.   Some  learned Judges are of opinion that this action can be taken as  soon as  the  person appears because then the Magistrate  may  be said to have entered upon the inquiry.  Other learned Judges are  of the opinion that sub-ss. (1) and (2)  envisage  that the  ’Magistrate must proceed to inquire into the  truth  of the  information  and  only  after  prima  facie  satisfying himself about the truth 1 and after recording his reasons in writing  can  the interim bond be asked for.   Some  of  the cases on the previous view are-Emperor v. Nabibux & Ors.(1), Dufal  Chandra  Mondal v. State(1) Gani Ganjai and  Ors.  v. State(1)  and Laxmilal v. Bherulal(1).   Those  representing the  other view ar-In re Muttuswami(5), In  re  Venkatasubba Reddy(6),  Jagdish  Prasad v. State(1), Jalaludio  Kunju  v. State(8),  Shravan Kumar Gupta v.  Superintendent,  District Jail, Mathura and Ors.(9), Jagir Singh v. The State("), Rama Gowda  & Ors. v. State of Mysore(11) and Ratilal  Jasrai  v. The State(12).  In  our opinion the words of the section are  quite  clear. As  said by Straight J. in Emperor v. Babua(13),  the  order under  s. 112 is on hearsay but the inquiry under s. 117  is to ascertain the truth of the unnecessary information.  Sub- section (1) contemplates an immediate inquiry into the truth of  the  information.  It is pending the completion  or  the inquiry  that an interim bond can be asked for if  immediate measures  are necessary, and in default it is  necessary  to put the persons in custody.  Therefore, as the liberty of  a person  is  involved,  and that person  is  being  proceeded against on information and suspicion, it is necessary to put a  strict construction upon the powers of  Magistrate.   The facts  must be of definite character.  In Nafar Chandra  Pal v. (1) A.I.R 1942 Sind 86.  (2) A ’ I.R. 1953 Cal. 238. (3), A.I.R. 1959 J & K   125.(4)  A.I.R 1958 Rai. 349 (5) I.L.R. (1947) Mad.   335 (F.B.)(6) A.I.R. 1955 A.P. 96. (7) A I.R.     1957 Pat. 106.(8)  A.I.R. 1952 Tr & Co  262. (9) A.I.R.     1957 All 189.(10) A.I.R. 1960 Pun. 225. (11) A.I.R.1960 Mysore 259.(12) A.I.R. 1956 Boni. 385.. (13) I.I.R. 6 All. 132. 734 The  King Emperor(1) there was only a petition and a  report and  these were not found sufficient material.  In  some  of the cases before us no effort was made by the Magistrate  to inquire  into the truth of the allegations.  The  Magistrate adjourned  the  case from day to day and yet asked  for  an interim  bond.   This  makes the  proceedings  entirely  one sided.   It  cannot  be described as an  inquiry  within  an inquiry as has been said in some cases.  Some inquiry has to be  made  before the bond can be  ordered.   We,  therefore, approve  of those cases in which it has been laid down  that some,  inquiry should be made before action is taken to  ask for  an  interim bond or placing the person  in  custody  in default  In  an  old  case  reported  in  A.  D.  Dupne   v. Hemcharidra(2), a Full Bench of the Calcutta High Court went into the matter.  The case arose before the present Code  of Criminal  Procedure and, therefore, there was  no  provision for an interim bond.  But what Sir Barnes Peacock C.J.  said



’applies to the changed law also not only with regard to the ultimate  order  but also to the interim order for  a  bond. The  section even as it is drafted today is hedged  in  with proper safeguards and it would be moving too far away  from the  guarantee  of  freedom, if the  view  were  allowed  to prevail  that  without  any inquiry into the  truth  of  the information  sufficient  to make out a prima  facie  case  a person  is to be put in jeopardy of detention.   A  definite finding is required that immediate steps are necessary.  The order  must  be  one which can be made into  a  final  order unless something to the contrary is established.   Therefore it  is not open to a Magistrate to adjourn the case  and  in the interval to send a person to jail if he fails to furnish a  bond.   If  this  were the law a  bond  could  always  be insisted  upon  before even the inquiry began  and  that  is neither the sense of the law nor the wording or  arrangement of the sections already noticed. The  power which is conferred under this Chapter is  distin- guished  from  the power of detention  by  executive  action under  Art. 22 of the Constitution.  Although the  order  to execute a, bond, issued before an offence is committed,  has the appearance of an administrative order, in reality it  is judicial  in character Primarily the provision  enables  the Magistrate  to  require the execution of a bond and  not  to detain  the  person.  Detention results only on  default  of execution  of such bond.  It is, therefore, not apposite  to characterise   the   provision  as  a  law   for   detention contemplated  by  Art.  22.  The  safeguards  are  therefore different.   The person sought to be bound over  has  rights which the trial of summons case confers On an accused.   The order  is  also  capable of  being  questioned  in  superior courts.  For this (1)  28 C.w.N. 23. (2) (1869) 12 W.R. (Cr.) 60. 735 reason,  at  every step the law requires the  Magistrate  to state  his,  reasons in writing.  It would make  his  action purely  administrative if he were to pass the order  for  an interim bond without entering upon the inquiry and at  least prima  facie inquiring into the truth of the information  on which  the  order calling upon the person to show  cause  is based.  Neither the scheme of the chapter nor the scheme  of S.  117  can bear such an interpretation.   We  accordingly, held in the case of Madhu Limaye (Writ Petition 307 of 1970- Madhu  Limaye & Anr. v. Ved Murti & Ors.) that as  the  case was  simply  adjourned from time to time and  there  was  no inquiry  before remanding him to custody his  detention  was illegal.   We may now briefly notice the remaining  sections of the Chapter. Section 118 then lays down that if upon inquiry it is proved that the person be called upon to execute a bond for keeping the  peace, or maintaining good behavior the Magistrate  may call  upon him to execute a bond.  The security must not  be more  than  that  stated  in the order  under  S.  112,  nor excessive.   Under s. 119 the Magistrate may  discharge  the person  or  release him from custody if  the  necessity  for keeping him bound over is not proved. The  last Division numbered C relates to proceedings  subse- quent  to s. 118.  Section 120 fixes the terminus a quo  for the  period  for which security is  required.   Section  121 gives  the  contents of the bond and  the  conditions  under which  there is a breach of the bond.  Section 122  empowers the Magistrate to reject sureties but only after inquiry and recording  the  evidence  and  his  teasons  for  rejection. Section  123 gives power to commit a person to prison or  to



be  detained  in prison if already there  for  the  duration mentioned  in the bond.  If the period is more than  a  year then  the proceeding-.; have to be submitted to  a  superior court.  It also provides for ancillary matters.  Section 124 empowers  the  District  Magistrate or  a  Chief  Presidency Magistrate to release a person so detained when there is  no longer  any hazard to the community or to any other  person. There  are other provisions for reducing security etc.  with which  we  are not conceded.  Section 125 enables  the  same Magistrates  to  cancel any bond for sufficient  reason  and under  s. 126 the sureties also stand  discharged.   Section 126A deals with security for the unexpired period of bond to which no special reference is needed. The gist of the Chapter is the prevention of crimes and  dis turbances of public tranquillity and breaches of the  peace. There is no need to prove overt acts although if overt  acts have taken place they will have to be considered The  action being  preventive  is  not based on overt  act  but  on  the potential danger to 7 36 be averted.  These provisions are thus essentially conceived in the interest of public order in the sense-defined by  us. They  are ,also in the interest of the general  public.   If prevention of crimes, and breaches of peace and  disturbance of  public tranquillity are directed to the  maintenance  of the even tempo of community life. there can be no doubt that they are in the interest of public order.  As we have  shown above  ’Public order’ is an elastic expression  which  takes within  it various meanings according to the context of  the law and the existence of special circumstances.  This  power was used in England for over 400 years and is not  something which is needed only for administration of colonial empires. Its  need in our society today is as great as it was  before the British left.  We find nothing contrary to article 19 (1 )(a) (b) (c) and (d)     because    the   limits   of    the restrictions are well within cls. (2) (3)    (4)  and   (5). We  accordingly  hold  the Chapter as  explainby  us  to  be constitutionally valid. Before we leave this topic it is necessary to emphasise that there  is no room for invocation of other provisions of  the Code such as s. 55 or 91.  In some of the cases of the  High Courts,  to which reference is not necessary,  recourse  has been  taken  to  these provisions in aid  of  Chapter  VIII. Apart  from the fact (which we have sufficiently  emphasised above)  that  s.  107 itself speaks that  the  procedure  of Chapter  VII  should be followed, s. 55 deals  with  special cases  of  arrest and cannot be made applicable  ’where  ss. 112,  113  and  114 of the Code  prescribe  their  own  pro- Similarly,  s. 91 may be available till the order  under  s. 112 is drawn up.  After it is drawn up the Magistrate has to act under ss. 113 and 117(1).  Then there is no room for  S. 91.   The  reasoning in some of the cases of  which  Vasudeo Ojha and Ors. v. State of Uttar Pradesh(1) is an example, is fallacious. There  is also no question of bail to the person because  if instead.of   an  interim  bond,  bail  for  appearance   was admissible  Chapter  VIII would undoubtedly  have  said  so. Further  bail  is  only for the continued  appearance  of  a person and not to prevent ’him from committing certain acts. To  release  a  person being  proceeded  against  under  ss. 107/112 of the Code is to frustrate the very purpose of  the proceedings unless his good behaviour is ensured by taking a bond in that behalf. We  have  said  in  our  earlier  order  that  we  hold  the provisions of s. 144 and Chapter VII, as interpreted by  us,



to be valid.  We have shown above bow these provisions  have to  be Understood and applied.  So read, we are  of  opinion that they do not offend the provisions of Art. 1 9 (1)  (,a) (b) (c) and (d). (1)  A.I.R. 1958 All. 578. 737 Bhargava, J. I agree with the judgement of my Lord the Chief Justice, with the exception that I am unable to subscribe to the  view that, in proceedings started under section 107  of the  Code of Criminal Procedure, the Magistrate  can  direct the  person, in respect of Whom an order under Section  112 has been made, to execute a bond , with or without sureties, for keeping the peace pending completion of the enquiry and, in  default,  detain  him  in custody  until  such  bond  is executed,  only after he has entered upon the enquiry  under section 1 17 (1) and has found a prima facie case satisfying himself  about the truth of the information on the basis  of which  the proceedings were started.  ’This  interpretation, in my opinion, will completely defeat the purpose of section 117(3). It has to be noticed that, when proceedings are contemplated under  section 107, the Magistrate takes action when  he  is informed that any person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity, only after forming an  opinion that there is sufficient ground  for  proceeding against  him.  The Magistrate cannot start  the  proceedings merely because of the information received by him.  Pursuant to  the information, the Magistrate has to form his  opinion that  there  is  sufficient round  for  proceeding.   This opinion  can  be  formed on the  basis  of  the  information supplied to him if he finds that the information is given in sufficient  detail  and is reliable enough  to  justify  his acting  on its basis.  In cases where the information  given is not of such nature, it will be the duty of the Magistrate to hold further inquiry and satisfy himself that it is a fit case where action should be taken because sufficient grounds exist.   There  may be cases where the  information  may  be received  from the Police in which case the  Magistrate  may examine all the Police papers and satisfy himself that there do exist sufficient grounds for him to take, the proceedings as  requested by the Police.  There may be cases  where  the proceedings  may be instituted at the instance of a  private complainant  who may be apprehending breach of the peace  by the   person  complained  against.   In  such   cases,   the Magistrate  is bound either to hold some inquiry himself  by examining  witnesses  on  oath or to have  an  inquiry  made through  the  Police,  so that he may be  able  to,  form  a correct  opinion as to the existence of  sufficient  grounds for proceeding.  It is after the Magistrate has taken  these steps  that he can proceed to make the order  under  section 112.   When,making  that order, he has to record  in  it  in writing  the  substance of the  information  received  which necessarily means the part of the information which was  the basis  of  his  opinion that  sufficient  ground  exist  for initiating the proceedings.  It is at this preliminary stage that the Magistrate is thus required to ensure that a  prima facie case does exist for the purpose of . 738 initiating  proceedings  against  the person who  is  to  be called upon to furnish security for keeping the peace. After  the  order  under section 112 has  been  issued,  the procedure  to be adopted is that contained in  sections  113 and  114.   If such person is present in  Court,  the  order under  section 112 has to be read over to him and, if he  so desires,  the substance thereof has to be explained to  him.



If ha is not present in Court, the Magistrate has to issue a summons requiring him to appear, or, when such person is  in custody, a warrant, directing the’ officer in whose  custody his,  to  bring him before the Court.   Another  alternative procedure  is  laid down for cases where it appears  to  the Magistrate that there is reason to fear the commission of  a breach  of  the  peace, and that such breach  of  the  peace cannot  be prevented otherwise than by the immediate  arrest of  such person; in such case-,, the Magistrate can issue  a warrant  for  the arrest of that person.  It is  under  this procedure  that the person appears or is brought before  the Court.  The proceedings to be take thereafter are laid  down in section 117(1) which requires that, as soon as the  order under  s.  112  has been read or  explained  to  the  person present in Court under s. 113, or to the person who  appears or  is  brought  before  a  Magistrate  under  s.  114,  the Magistrate  has  to  proceed to enquire into  the  truth  of theinformation upon which action has been taken, and to take such further evidence as may appear necessary.  This inquiry under  sub-s.(2)  of  s. 117 has to be held  in  the  manner prescribed for conducting trials and recording evidence.  in summons cases.  Sub-s. (1) of section 117, thus, contains  a -mandatory direction on the Magistrate to start  proceedings of  inquiry  as soon as the person, in respect of  whom  the order  under  s.  112  has been  made,  appears  before  the Magistrate.   ’Section  117(1)  makes  it  clear  that   the Magistrate   must   institute  the   inquiry   without   any unnecessary  delay.   This  provision  cannot,  however,  be interpreted  as  requiring  that  the  inquiry  must   begin immediately   when   the  person  appears  in   the   Court. Obviously, such a requirement would be impracticable.  In  a case  where a summons is issued to the person to  appear  in Court,  or a warrant is issued under the proviso to  s.  114 for  his  arrest,  the date and time when  the  person  will appear  in  the Court of the Magistrate will  always  remain uncertain.   Some time will have to be taken in serving  the summons and, depending on the distance and accessibility  of the place where the persons happens to be, the time taken in serving  the  summons  will vary.  Even  in  cases  where  a warrant. is issued under the proviso to S. 1 14, the  person may  not  be produced in Court immediately  because  of  the place  of his arrest which may be miles away from the  Court of  the  Magistrate  .  The  Legislatures  could  not   have contemplated that, in such contingencies, witnesses must  be kept ready in the Court 739 of  the   Magistrate awaiting the appearance of  the  person concerned,  so  that the Magistrate can  start  the  inquiry immediately.Further, the inquiry under s. 117(1) is directed in  the manner prescribed for conducting trials  in  summons cases.   The  result of the inquiry can be that  the  person concerned  can be asked to execute bonds and  give  sureties for  keeping the peace and, if he commits default  in  doing so,  he  can  be  detained in  prison  losing  his  personal liberty.  In such cases, the person concerned has a right to be  represented by a lawyer in the  inquiry.   Consequently, when  he appears before the Magistrate, he can  legitimately ask  for a reasonable adjoumement to enable him to engage  a lawyer  of his choice and, thus, at his own request, he  can ensure  that  the inquiry does not begin  immediately.   The proper  interpretation of sub--s. (1) of section 117, in  my opinion,  is  that  the inquiry must be  begun  as  soon  as practicable and a Magistrate would be committing a breach of the direction contained in this sub-section if be  postpones the inquiry without sufficient reasons.



It is in the light of these principles that, in my  opinion, the  power  granted to the Magistrate under  section  117(3) should be interpreted.  That power is given for cases  where immediate  measures  are necessary for the prevention  of  a breach  of the peace.  In such a situation,  the  Magistrate can direct the person, in respect of whom the order under s. 112  has  been  made, to execute a  bond,  with  Or  without sureties,  for keeping the peace pending completion  of  the inquiry  under  s. 117(1) and, if he fails  to  execute  the bond,  the  Magistrate can direct his  detention  until  the enquiry  is  concluded.   This power to  be  raised  by  the Magistrate in emergent cases has been conferred in the back- ground of the procedure which he has to adopt under  section 107  of  forming an opinion, after receipt  of  information, that   there   do  exist  sufficient  grounds   for   taking proceedings.  At the first stage, when forming such opinion, the  Magistrate naturally acts ex parte and has to  rely  on information supplied to him or other information obtained by him  in the absence of the person againct whom  proceedings are  to be taken.  It is on the basis of that  opinion  that the  Magistrate proceeds to make the order under s. 112  and is  empowered  even to issue a warrant of arrest  under  the proviso  to section-114.  The power under s. 117(3) is  most likely  to be invoked in cases where the Magistrate has,  at an  earlier stage, issued the warrant under the, proviso  to s. 114.  This is so because ’the warrant is issued in  cases where breach of the peace cannot be prevented otherwise than by  immediate  arrest, and S. 117(3) also is to  be  invoked where  the,Magistrate considers that immediate measures  are necessary  for  prevention  of breach  of  the  peace.   The Legislature,  having  empowered  the  Magistrate  to   issue warrant of arrest, naturally proceeded further to give power to the Magistrate in such cases to direct that bonds for 740 keeping  the  peace be furnished pending completion  of  the inquiry.  The expression "completion at the inquiry" must be interpreted as the period covered from the beginning of  the inquiry  until  its conclusion.  The bonds  can,  therefore, cover  the period from the moment the inquiry is  to  begin. Such  a power for requiring that bonds be furnished  pending inquiry  is  obviously necessary where  there  is  immediate danger  of  breach of the peace and immediate  measures  are necessary  for  its prevention.  The order is  made  on  the basis of the earlier opinion formed by the Magistrate  under S.  107.  Subsequently, of course, when the inquiry is  held under s. 117(1), the correctness of the information and  the tentative opinion formed ex parte under S. 107 will be  pro- perly  tested  after going through  the  judicial  procedure prescribed for the trial of summons cases and, thereupon, if it is found that there was no justification, the order would be  revoked.  In my opinion, the grant of such a power to  a Magistrate is a very reasonable restriction on the  personal liberty of a citizen.  It is needed for prevention of crimes and it can only be effective if its exercise is permitted on the basis of opinion formed by tent authority that immediate measures  are required. that, under s. 117(3), a person  can be  detained  in  prior to a Court arriving  at  a  judicial finding against such a procedure is not only reasonable, but essential. In  this respect, the power of a Magistrate in  regard son accused of a cognizable offence is comparable.  If trate has sufficiently reliable information to form an opinion that  a person  has committed a cognizable offence,  the  Magistrate can ,order his detention as an undertrial prisoner.  At that stage,  the law deems that person still to be innocent  and,



yet,  his  detention in prison is considered  reasonable  in order  to ensure that a proper ,trial can be held and  there is  no  repetition of the offence of which that  person  is accused.   This detention as an undertrial prisoner is  also based  on  the  ex parte opinion formed  by  the  Magistrate before the actual trial.  The power granted under S.  117(3) is  very similar and is intended to ensure that the  person, from  whom  breach of the peace is apprehended,  is  not  at liberty  to commit breach of the peace and thus  defeat  the purpose  of  the proceedings by being allowed to  remain  at liberty  without any undertaking during the pendency of  the inquiry. In  this  connection, it was urged by Mr. Garg that,  if  S. 117(3)  is interpreted as permitting a Magistrate to  direct furnishing  of  bonds  for keeping the peace  and  to  order detention in default without any evidence being obtained  in the  course  of  the inquiry, the  Magistrate  may  keep  on adjourning  the hearing of the inquiry under s.  117(1)  and thus, keep the person in detention for long periods  without giving him the opportunity of showing that there 741 is  no justification for orders being made against him.   In my  opinion, the validity of a provision of this  nature  is not  to  be judged from the likelihood of the abuse  of  the power  by the Magistrate.  If the Magistrate. rafter  making orders under s. 117(3), unnecessarily postpones the inquiry, he would, in my opinion, be not only abusing his powers, but will be acting contrary to the mandate of the law  contained in  s.  117(1)  itself which, as  I  have  indicated  above, requires  that the Magistrate must proceed to  enquire  into the truth of the information without unnecessary delay.   In cases  where  the  power  is  abused  and  the  hearing   is unnecessarily delayed, the proceedings would be liable to be quashed and the person set at liberty on the ground that the Magistrate has not complied with the requirements of s. 1 17 (1 ). On the other hand, if the Magistrate does comply  with s.  117  (  1 ) by continuing  the  proceedings  of  inquiry expeditiously  and without any delay, I do not think it  can beaid  that  the detention of the person, against  whom  the proceeding are being taken, is not a reasonable  restriction on  his personal liberties when the Magistrate  has  already found that immediate, measures are necessary for  prevention of  breach  of  the  peace  and  the  person  concerned  has defaulted  in furnishing bonds to keep the peace during  the pendency of the inquiry. These  are the reasons why, in my opinion, the powers  under section  117(3)  can  be exercised  without  the  Magistrate recording  evidence  and finding a prima  facie  case  after starting  the  inquiry under section 117(1).  Even  on  this interpretation, section 117(3) is valid and is a  reasonable restriction  under  Article 19(2). (3). (4) and (5)  of  the Constitution. V.P.S. Directions given. 7 42