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If the detenu was not prejudiced by non-supply of a particular document, the detenu cannot gain any benefit merely by agitating that a document mentioned in the detention order was not supplied to him : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Sri Sushanta Kumar Banik vs The State Of Tripura (WP(C)(HC) 06/2021) upheld that unless the detenu can show as to how he was prejudiced by non-supply of a particular document, the detenu cannot gain any benefit merely by agitating that a document mentioned in the detention order was not supplied to him.

Facts of the case : Petitioner Sushanta Kumar Banik was detained under Section 3(1) of the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 (PIT NDPS Act). He was charge sheeted in Amtali PS Case which was registered following seizure of 92 gm brown sugar (Heroin) and 7600 nos yaba tablets. Investigation of the case had revealed that he was involved in running an illegal business of narcotic drugs throughout the State and outside the State. He is a kingpin in illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs inside the State as well as outside the State. He did not stop his illegal activities of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances even after his arrest in a previous case.

An order of detention was made pursuant to the proposal of the Director General of Police. In his proposal, DGP proposed for the petitioner’s preventive detention.

Aggrieved by his detention, the petitioner has challenged the detention order by making this application under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, commanding the respondents to release him from detention.

One of the main grounds on which the detenu attacked his preventive detention order is that in the detention order, the detaining authority referred to the records submitted by the Director General of Police. But copies of those records were not furnished to the detenu. Learned counsel of the petitioner contended that for non supply of those essential documents which formed the foundation of the detention order, detenue could not submit a representation against the detention order and thus, he was seriously prejudiced. 

Judgment : Article 22(5) of the Constitution observed that the said Article has two facets; 

  1. i) communication of the grounds on which the order of detention has been made 
  2. ii) opportunity of making a representation against the order of detention.

Unless the detenu can show as to how he was prejudiced by non-supply of a particular document, the detenu cannot gain any benefit merely by agitating that a document mentioned in the detention order was not supplied to him. It is not necessary to supply each and every document which has been referred to in the detention order merely for the purpose of narration of facts.

Apparently the communication dated 28.06.2021 was received by the detenue. In acknowledgement of the receipt of the documents he also put his signature on the said document. The record also showed that all papers in connection with the pending criminal cases were also served on the detenue. Therefore, the contention of the learned counsel of the petitioner that the proposal received from the DGP was not served on the detenu did not gain ground. 

The court came to the conclusion that the petitioner was given all opportunities to make real and effective representation against the detention order. Detention order and the grounds of detention were explained to him in his mother tongue which has been certified by an Executive Magistrate and during his detention jail authority also supplied a list of lawyers to him. The constitutional safeguards provided under Article 22(5) of the Constitution had been observed by the detaining authority by indicating to the detenu the grounds of his detention and providing him full opportunities of making an effective representation against the order of detention. Petition was dismissed. 

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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