Srinagar: “The unexplained delay between the prejudicial activities (necessitating detention) and in passing of the detention order renders it illegal,” the J&K High Court held on Saturday while quashing a Public Safety Act (PSA) detention order against Ashiq Ahmad Rather of Pulwama.
Advocate Wajid Haseeb representing the detenue submitted before court that the detenue had remained under detention since August 6, 2019, on the basis of the cases registered against him in 2016 and there was delay of three years in passing the detention order.
Justice Rajnesh Oswal while perusing the grounds of detention recorded that the detaining authority had relied upon three FIRs pertaining to the year 2016, whereas detention order had been passed on 6th August 2019.
“Thus there is delay of three years in passing the detention order,” Justice Rajnesh pointed out while giving reference to the Supreme Court judgement in case titled Laxhman Khatik vs State of Bengal, 1974 (4), in which it was held that prompt action in such matter should be taken as soon as the incident referred to in the grounds of detention had taken place.
Justice Rajnesh said that it was also profitable to take note of the judgment of the apex court in case titled Saeed Zakir Hussain Malik vs State of Maharashtra in which it was held that the delay in passing the detention order, namely, after 15 months, vitiated the detention itself.
“The question whether the prejudicial activities of a person necessitating to pass an order of detention is proximate to the time when the order is made or the live-link between the prejudicial activities and the purpose of detention is snapped depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. Though there is no hard and fast rule and no exhaustive guidelines can be laid down in that behalf, however, when there is undue and long delay between the prejudicial activities and the passing of detention order, it is incumbent on the part of the court to scrutinise whether the Detaining Authority has satisfactorily examined such a delay and afforded a reasonable and acceptable explanation as to why such a delay has occasioned,” the judge mentioned the apex court directive as saying.
The judge remarked that it was also the duty of the court to investigate whether a causal connection had been broken in the circumstances of each case.
Justice Rajnesh said that in the present case the delay of three years in passing the order of detention had snapped the causal link between the prejudicial activities and the purpose for which the detention order was passed.
“In view of these counts, the detention order No. 38/DMP/PSA/19 dated 6 August, 2019, is required to be quashed, and, as such, the same is quashed. The detenue is ordered to be released forthwith provided he is not required in any other case,” the court directed.