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SC assails unexplained delay in passing detention order

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 16 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that unexplained delay in passing the detention order by the authorities is not permissible in law.

A bench comprising Mr Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr Justice P.K.

Balasubramanyan vide their judgment dated March 10 this year laid down the law while setting aside the impugned detention order passed against an industrialist, Rajinder Arora, whose export house was raided by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on May 26,2004 and detention order was passed on March 31,2005.

Arora,whose company has been given highest export performance awards by Wool and Woolen Export Promotion Council for the manufacture of acrylic yarn, blankets and shawls, was taken in custody on May 26,2004 and his arrest was shown on May 28,2004 .

DRI failed to file charge sheet within the stipulated period of 60 days and the accused was granted bail and he also retracted from his statement made while in police custody. The accused also alleged that his family was forced to deposit Rs. 60 lakhs as custom duty during his detention but the deposit was made without prejudice to his rights and contentions. Arora filed a criminal complaint against DRI officials for torturing him during his illegal detention for two days.

In the meantime, authorities sent a proposal for his detention under COFEPOSA to the Delhi unit of DRI.The Ludhiana unit of DRI, however opined that no case had been made out for detention of the appellant under COFEPOSA.

The Punjab and Haryana high court dismissed the writ petitions challenging the detention of Arora and one Shital Vij, who is suspected to be the brain behind utilisation of the unlawful imports.

The Supreme Court has observed,"It is trite law that an order of detention is not a curative or reformative or punitive action, but a preventive action, avowed object of which being to prevent the anti-social and subversive elements from imperiling the welfare of the country or the security of the nation or from disturbing the public tranquility or from indulging in smuggling activities or from engaging in illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic suybstances etc." While commenting on delay, the apex court ruled '' that the delay caused in this case in issuing the order of detention has not been explained. In fact no reason in that behalf whatsoever has been assigned at all and for the reasons abovementioned the impugned order of detention can not be sustained which is set aside accordingly.'' UNI AKS/XC RP DS1642

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