A Magistrate must do a thorough check of the evidence at hand before ordering detention of a person: Gujarat High Court quashes detention order issued against the petitioner

Shankarlal Sohanlal Sharma vs State Of Gujarat


Date: 21/04/2023

Bench: Honourable Justice AS Supheia


In the instant case, the petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, challenging the Order of Detention passed by respondent No.2- District Magistrate, Surat, in exercise of powers under Section 3 (2) of the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, by which he had been detained with a view to prevent him from acting in a prejudicial manner to the maintenance of supplies of the commodities essential to the community.

Section 3(2) confers power on the Magistrate to detain any person to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies of commodities essential to the community.

The learned advocate appearing for the petitioner contended that the order is void and arbitrary and had been passed without adequate evidence. Moreover, the authority had made a breach of a statutory obligation as it failed to inform the state Government regarding the order passed. He further submitted that the rights conferred upon the petitioner by Article 22, Clause (5) of the Constitution of India have been violated, firstly by not informing the grounds on which the order of detention has been passed, and secondly, by not deciding the representation made by the detenu against the order of detention. Article 22(5) states that whenever any person is detained under a law providing for preventive detention, the authority concerned shall inform the state government within 7 days from the detention.

On the other hand, the opposite party opposed the petition and submitted that the petitioner had indulged in such activities which is prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies of essential commodities. He, therefore, urged that the petition deserves to be dismissed.


The Court, considering the facts of the present case, found that some of the documents supplied along with the detention order to the detenu were not legible and statements of certain witnesses had also not been supplied to the petitioner, thus, the detaining authority had failed in supplying relevant documents relied upon by it for passing the detention order. Due to this reason, the Court allowed the petition and quashed the order of detention against the petitioner.


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