17 September 1956
Supreme Court
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SHAMRAO VISHNU PARULEKAR Vs THE DISTRICT MAGISTRATE, THANA(and connected petition)

Bench: DAS, SUDHI RANJAN (CJ),AIYYAR, T.L. VENKATARAMA,SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.,DAS, S.K.,MENON, P. GOVINDA
Case number: Writ Petition (Civil) 100 of 1956


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PETITIONER: SHAMRAO VISHNU PARULEKAR

       Vs.

RESPONDENT: THE DISTRICT MAGISTRATE, THANA(and connected petition)

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 17/09/1956

BENCH: AIYYAR, T.L. VENKATARAMA BENCH: AIYYAR, T.L. VENKATARAMA DAS, SUDHI RANJAN (CJ) SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P. DAS, S.K. MENON, P. GOVINDA

CITATION:  1957 AIR   23            1956 SCR  644

ACT: Preventive  detention-Order  of detention  by  the  District Magistrate-Report  sent to the State Government-Approval  by the  State-Grounds  for  the order  sent  later-Validity  of detention-"Grounds  on  which  the  order  has  been  made", Interpretation  of-Preventive  Detention Act,  1960  (IV  of 1950), ss. 3(2)(3), 7.

HEADNOTE: Sub-section  (3)  of s. 3 of the Preventive  Detention  Act, 1950, provides that when an order of detention is made under subsection  (2)  by an officer mentioned therein,  he  shall forthwith  report the fact to the State Government  together with the grounds on which the order has been made ... and no such order...shall remain in force for more then twelve days after the making thereof unless in the meantime it has  been approved by the State Government. Under  s. 7(1) "when a person is detained in pursuance of  a detention  order, the authority making the order  shall  ... communicate  to him the grounds on which the order has  been made,  and  shall  afford him the  earliest  opportunity  of making a representation against the order to the appropriate Government". The petitioners were arrested on 27th January 1956 in pursu- anoe of the orders of detention passed under s. 3(2) of  the Preventive  Detention Act, 1950, by the District  Magistrate who  sent  his report the next day to the  State  Government which approved of the same on 3rd February 1956.   Meantime, the grounds on which the orders of detention were made  were formulated by the District Magistrate who furnished the same to  the petitioners on 31st January 1966 under s. 7  of  the Act.   A  copy  of  these grounds  was  sent  to  the  State Government on 6th February 1956.  The petitioners challenged the  validity  of the detention and contended,  inter  alia, that as the expression "grounds on which the order has  been made" occurring in S. 3(3) is word for word, the same as  in s.  7 of the Act, it must have the same meaning and  as  the copy  of the grounds referred to in s. 7 had not  been  sent along with the report under s. 3(3) to the State  Government

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before it had approved of the orders of detention there  was a  violation of the procedure prescribed by the statute  and consequently  the  detention became illegal.  It  was  found that the report sent by the District Magistrate set out  not merely the fact of the making of the order of detention  but also the materials on which he had made the order. Held,  that  the  failure  on  the  part  of  the   District Magistrate to 645 send  along with his report under s. 3(3) the  very  grounds which  he subsequently furnished the detenu under s.  7,  is not  a  breach of the requirements of that  sub-section  and that it was sufficiently complied with when he reported  the materials on which he made the order. The scope and intendment of the expression " the grounds  on which the order has been made" in ss. 3(3) and 7 of the  Act are quite different and it is not essential that the grounds which are furnished to the detenu must have been before  the State Government before it approves of the order.

JUDGMENT: ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: Petitions Nos. 100 and 101 of 1956. Petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution for writs  in the nature of Habeas Corpus. N.   C.  Chatterjee,  Sadhan  Chandra  Gupta  and  Janardhan Sharma, for the petitioners. C. K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General for India, Porus A.  Mehta and R. H. Dhebar, for the respondents. 1956.   September  17.   The  Judgment  of  the  Court   was delivered by VENKATARAMA AYYAR J.-These are petitions under article 32 of the  Constitution for the issue of a writ in the  nature  of habeas   corpus.    On  26th  January  1956   the   District Magistrate,  Than;, passed orders under section 3(2) of  the Preventive Detention Act IV of 1950 (hereinafter referred to as  the  Act) for the detention of the petitioners,  and  in execution of the orders, they were arrested on 27th  January 1956.  The next day, the District Magistrate sent his report to the State Government which on 3rd February 1956  approved of  the same.  Meantime, on 30th January 1956  the  District Magistrate  formulated  the grounds on which the  orders  of detention  were made, and the same were communicated to  the petitioners  on 31st January 1956.  A copy of these  grounds was sent to the State Government on 6th February 1956. The  petitioners challenge the validity of the detention  on two grounds.  They contend firstly that the grounds for  the order  of  detention  which were  furnished  to  them  under section 7 of the Act are vague, 646 and  secondly that the requirements of section 3 (3) of  the Act  had not been complied with, in that those  grounds  had been   sent  to  the  State  Government  by   the   District Magistrate, not along with, his report on 28th January 1956, but  on  6th February 1956, after the State  Government  had approved of the order. There  is no substance whatsoever in the  first  contention. The communication sent to the petitioners runs as follows: "During the monsoon season in the year 1955, you held secret meeting of Adivasis in Umbergaon, Dhanu, Palghar and  Jawhar Talukas  of  Thana  Distric’t  at  which  you  incited   and instigated  them to have recourse to intimidation,  violence and  arson  in order to prevent the labourers  from  outside villages hired by landlords from working for landlords.   As

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a  direct result of your incitement and  instigation,  there were  several cases of intimidation, violence and  arson  in which  the  Adivasis from these Talukas indulged.   Some  of these cases are described below............" Then  follows  a  detailed statement of the  cases.   It  is argued for the petitioners that no particulars were given as to  when  and where the secret meetings were held  in  which they  are  alleged to have participated, and that  the  bald statement that they took place during the monsoon season was too  wide  and vague to be capable of  being  refuted.   But then,  the particulars Which follow give the dates on  which the several incidents took place, and it is obvious that the meetings  must have been held near about those  dates.   The communication  further states that it is not in  the  public interests   to   disclose  further   facts.    Reading   the communication  as  a  whole, we are of opinion  that  it  is sufficiently  definite  to apprise the petitioners  of  what they  were  charged with and to enable them  to  give  their explanation therefor.  That was the view taken by Chagla, C. J.  in  the  applications  for  habeas  corpus,  which   the petitioners moved in the High Court of Bombay under  article 226  of the Constitution, and we are in agreement  with  it. The  complaint  that the grounds are  vague  must  therefore fail. As regards the second contention, it will be usefu 647 to  set out the relevant sections of the Act bearing on  the question: Section 3(1) "The Central Government or the State Government may- (a)if satisfied with respect to any person that with a  view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to- (i)the defence of India, the relations of India with foreign powers, or the security of India, or (ii)the  security of the State or the maintenance-of  public order, or (iii)the  maintenance of supplies and services essential  to the community; or (b)if  satisfied  with  respect  to  any  person  who  is  a foreigner  within  the meaning of the Foreigners  Act,  1946 (XXXI of 1946), that with a view to regulating his continued presence in India or with a view to making arrangements  for his expulsion from India, it is necessary so to do, make  an order directing that such person be detained. (2)  Any of the following officers, namely,- (a)  District Magistrates, (b)  Additional District Magistrates specially empowered  in this behalf by the State Government, (c) the   Commissioner of Police for Bombay, Calcutta, Madras or Hyderabad, (d)  Collector in the State of Hyderabad may if satisfied as provided in sub-clauses (ii) and (iii) of clause (a) of sub- section  (1)  exercise  powers conferred by  the  said  sub- section. (3)  When any order is made under this section by an officer mentioned  in sub-section (2) he shall forthwith report  the fact  to  the State Government to which  he  is  subordinate together  with the grounds on which the order has been  made and such other particulars as in his opinion have a  bearing on the matter, and no such order made after the commencement of  the Preventive Detention (Second Amendment)  Act,  1952, shall  remain in force for more than twelve days  after  the making  thereof unless in the meantime it has been  approved by the State Government. 648

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(4)  Where  any  order  is made or  approved  by  the  State Government  under this section, the State Government  shall, as soon as may be, report the fact to the Central Government together  with the grounds on which the order has been  made and  such -other particulars as in the opinion of the  State Government have bearing on the necessity for the order". Section 7 (1) "Where a person is detained in pursuance of  a detention  order, the authority making the order  shall,  as soon  as may be, but not later than five days from the  date of  detention  communicate to him the grounds on  which  the order  has  been  made, and shall afford  him  the  earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order  to the appropriate Government. (2)  Nothing in sub-section (1) shall require the  authority to  disclose  facts  which it considers to  be  against  the public interest to disclose". On  these sections, the argument of Mr. Chatterjee  for  the petitioners  is  that section 3 (3) requires  that  when  an order  of  detention  is  made by  one  of  the  authorities mentioned in section 3(2)-in this case it was so made-  that authority  should  forthwith report the fact  to  the  State Government together with the grounds on which the order  was made;  that this provision is clearly intended to  safeguard the  rights  of the detenu, as it is on a  consideration  of these  grounds that the Government has to decide whether  it will  approve of the order or not;, that when therefore  the grounds had not been made available to the State  Government before  they had approved of the order, as happened  in  the present  case, there was a clear violation of the  procedure prescribed  by  the statute, and that the  detention  became illegal. Now,  it is clear from the affidavit filed on behalf of  the respondent  that when the District Magistrate sent a  report under  section  3(3)  on 28th January 1956, he  did  send  a report not merely of the fact of the making of the order  of detention,  but also of the materials on which he  had  made the  order.   The contention of the petitioner is  that  the grounds which 649 were  formulated  on 30th January 1956 and  communicated  to them  on 31st January 1956 should also have been sent  along with the report.  The question is whether what the  District Magistrate   did   was  sufficient   compliance   with   the requirements of section 3 (3), and that will depend upon the interpretation  to be put upon the words "grounds  on  which the  order  has  been  made"  occurring  in  that   section. Construing  these words in their natural and ordinary  sense they would include any information or material on which  the order  was based.  The Oxford Concise Dictionary  gives  the following meanings to the word "ground": ’Base,  foundation, motive, valid reason’.  On this definition, the materials on which  the District Magistrate considered that an  order  of detention  should  be made could properly  be  described  as grounds  therefor.   But it is contended by  Mr.  Chatterjee that  the  expression "grounds on which the order  has  been made" occurring in section 3(3) is, word for word, the  same as  in section 7, that the same expression occurring in  the same  statute must receive the same construction, that  what section  3  requires is that on the making of an  order  for detention,  the  authority is to formulate the  grounds  for that order, and send the same to the State Government  under section  3(3)  and to the detenu under section 7,  and  that therefore it was not sufficient merely to send to the  State Government a report of the materials on which the order  was made.   Reliance  was  placed on the  following  passage  in

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Maxwell’s  Inter predation of Statutes, 10th  Edition,  page 522: "it  is, at all events, reasonable to presume that the  same meaning  is  implied by the use of the  same  expression  in every part of an Act". The rule of construction contended for by the petitioners is well-settled, but that is only one element in deciding  what the true import of the enactment. is) to ascertain which  it is  necessary  to  have regard to  the  purpose  behind  the particular  provision and its setting in the scheme  of  the statute.   "The  presumption", says Craies, "that  the  same words  are used in the same meaning is however very  slight, and 650 it  is  proper  ’if sufficient reason can  be  assigned,  to construe  a word in one part of an Act in a different  sense from  that  which  it bears in another  part  of  an  Act"’. (Statute Law, 5th Edition, page 159).  And Maxwell, on whose statement of the law the petitioners rely, observes  further on: "But the presumption is not of much weight.  The same  word. may  be  used in different senses in the same  statute,  and even in the same section". (Interpretation of Statutes, page 322). Examining  the two provisions in their context, it  will  be seen that section 3(1) confers on the Central Government and the  State  Government  the  power  to  pass  an  order   of detention,  when  the grounds mentioned in  that  sub-clause exist.   When  an order is made under  this  provision,  the right of the detenu under section 7 is to be informed of the grounds  of  detention, as soon as may be, and  that  is  to enable  him  to make a representation  against  that  order, which is a fundamental right guaranteed under article 22(5). Coming next to section 3(2), it provides for the power which is  conferred  on the State Government  under  section  3(1) being exercised by certain authorities with reference to the matters  specified therein.  This being a delegation of  the power conferred on the State Government under section  3(1), with  a  view to ensure that the delegate  acts  within  his authority  and  fairly  and  properly  and  that  the  State exercises  due  and effective control and  supervision  over him, section 3(3) enacts a special procedure to be  observed when  action  is taken under section  3(2).   The  authority making the order under section 3(2) is accordingly  required to report the fact of the order forthwith to the State along with the grounds therefor, and if the State does not approve of  the  order within twelve days, it  is  automatically  to lapse.  These provisions are intended to regulate the course of   business   between  the  State  Government   and,   the authorities  subordinate  to it exercising its  power  under statutory delegation and their scope is altogether different from  that  of section 7 which deals with the right  of  the detenue as against the State 651 Government  and’ its subordinate authorities.  Section  3(3) requires  the authority to communicate the, grounds  of  its order  to  the State Government, so that  the  latter  might satisfy   itself  whether  detention  should  be   approved. Section  7 requires the statement of grounds to be  sent  to the detenu, so that he might, make a representation  against the order.  The purpose of ’the two sections is so different that it cannot, be presumed that the expression "the grounds on  which the order has been made" is used in section’  3(3) in the same sense ’Which it bears in section 7. That  the legislature could not have contemplated  that  the

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grounds mentioned in section 3(3) should be, identical  with those  referred to in section 7 could also be seen from  the fact  that  whereas  under section 7(2) it is  open  to  the authority  not  to  disclose  to  the  detenu  facts  if  it considers  that it would be against public interests  so  to do,  it  is these facts that will figure  prominently  in  a report by the subordinate authority to the State  Government under section 3(3),and form the basis for approval.  If  the grounds which are furnished under section 3(3) could contain matters  which need not be communicated to the detenu  under section  7, the expression "grounds on which the  order  has been  made"  cannot  bear  the  same  meaning  in  both  the sections. There is also another reason in support of this  conclusion. When  the authority mentioned in section 3(2) decides, on  a consideration  of  the materials placed before  it,  to  act under  that section and orders detention, it is required  by section 3(3) to, report that fact with the grounds therefore to the State Government forthwith.  But under section 7, the duty  of the authority is to communicate the grounds to  the detenu,  as soon as may be.  Now, it has been held  that  as the  object  of  this provision is to  give  the  detenu  an opportunity to make a representation against the order,  the grounds must be sufficiently definite and detailed to enable him to do so.  It is obvious that the communication that has to  be served on the detenu under section 7 of the Act is  a formal  document setting out the grounds for the  order  and the 652 Particulars  in  support  thereof, subject,  of  course,  to section 7(2); whereas the report to the State under  section 3(3)  is  a  less  formal  document  in  the  nature  of   a confidential  inter-departmental communication, which is  to contain  the  particulars on which the order was  made.   It could  not have been intended that the contents of  the  two communications  which are so Dissimilar in their  scope  and intendment should be identical. Mr.  N.  C. Chatterjee also cited  certain  observations  of Kania C.J. in State of Bombay v. Atma Ram Sridhar  Vaidya(1) as  supporting  his contention that the  grounds  which  are furnished  to  the detenu must have been  before  the  State Government  before  it  approves of  the  order.   Said  the learned Chief Justice: "It  is  obvious that the grounds for making  the  order  as mentioned  above,  are the grounds on  which  the  detaining authority  was satisfied that it was necessary to  make  the order.   These grounds therefore must be in  existence  when the order is made". But  the grounds referred to in the above passages  are  the reasons for making the order, not the formal expressions  in which  they are. embodied, and that will be clear  from  the following observation further on: "By  their very nature the grounds are conclusions of  facts and not a complete detailed recital of all the facts". Our  conclusion  is  that the failure on  the  part  of  the District  Magistrate of Thana to send along with his  report under  section 3(3), the very grounds which he  subsequently communicated  to the detenu under section 7 is not a  breach of  the  requirements of that sub-section, and that  it  was sufficiently complied with when he reported the materials on which he made the order. The  second  contention of the petitioners also  fails,  and these applications must therefore be dismissed. (1) [1951] S.C.R. 167, 178. 653

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