Deb Sadhan Roy Vs. State of West
Bengal  INSC 335 (7 December 1971)
REDDY, P. JAGANMOHAN REDDY, P. JAGANMOHAN
CITATION: 1973 AIR 1331 1973 SCR (3) 691
D 1974 SC2337 (15)
West Bengal (Prevention of Unlawful Activities)
Act 1970--confirmation of Advisory Board's recommendation for detention beyond
three months under s. 12 by State Government--Confirmation must be within three
months of detention--Must be in writing--Must be communicated to detenu within
reasonable time--Grounds of detention whether vague because they did not
mention names of associates of petitioner in the acts alleged against
him--Disturbance of public order in s. 3(2)(c)---What amounts to.
The petitioner was arrested on January 29,
1971 in pursuance--of a detention order dated January 16, 1971 under the West
Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act 1970.
The State Government's order under s. 12 of
the Act confirming the report of the Advisory Board recommending detention of
the petitioner for more than three months 'was passed on April 4, 1971 The
order of configuration was communicate to the petitioner on August 26. 1971. In
his petition under Art. 32 of the Constitution the petitioner urged; (i) that
the order of confirmation under s. 12 should not only have been passed within
three months of the detention but also communicated to the petitioner within
that period; (ii) the grounds of detention were vague; (iii) that the facts
alleged did not amount to disturbance of public order.
HELD : (i)(a) The confirmation. of the
opinion of the Advisor Board to continue the detention beyond three months must
be within three months from the date of detention in conformity with the
mandate in el. (4) of Art. 22 of the Constitution (Reasons discussed. [794 D]
Dattatraya Moreshwar Pangarkar v. The State of Bombay,. & Ors., 
S.C.R. 612, distinguished.
Kaur Singh v. The State, A.I.R. 1952, Pepsu
134, Dhadhal Kanthad Valeg v. Saurashtra State A.I.R. 1953 Sau. Umd Singh
Narubho v. Stale, A.I.R. 1953, San. 51, Sangapua Mallappa Kodi & Ors. v.
The State of Mysore & Ors., A.I.R.
1959, Mysore 7, Aswini Kumar Banerjee, v. The
State & Ors., 1970-71 (Col. LXXV) Calcutta Weekly Notes-866, approved and
(b)The confirmation cannot purely be a mental
act. a subjective one but must result in an objective action, namely, that it
should be recorded in writing [795 C-D] Further, though there is no provision
in the Act an order of confirmation, which has the effect of extending the
period of detention beyond the mandatory period of three months, must be made
known to the detenu. There is no warrant or justification for such an order
remaining in the files of the executive without the same being communicated to
the person most concerned-the detenu-whose freedom. has been objected to
jeopardy. He is entitled to know that the Board have considered his
representation, as well as his personal submissions if he has chosen to appear
before it. and that it had been found that there was sufficient cause for his
detention and that the State Government had agreed with it.
The cow788 within a reasonable time. The
effect of non-communication, however, may be an irregularity which does not
make the detention otherwise legal, illegal [795 D-796 C] Mohammad Afzal Khan
v. State of Jammu & Kashmir,  S.C.R. 63, Achhar Singh v. State of
Punjab, Petn. No. 359 of 1951-decided on 22-11-1951, Biren Dutta & Ois. v.
Chief Commissioner of Tripura & Another,  8 S.C.R. 295, referred to.
In the present case the order of confirmation
by the State Government was made within three months of the order of detention.
Although the communication to the detenu was after three months he was not
shown to have been prejudiced by it. [796 D] (ii) There was no validity in the
petitioner's contention that the grounds of detention were vague because the
names of his associates were not supplied. It was not necessary for the
petitioner to make an effective representation to specify his associates
because they may not have been known [797 E] (iii) In this case what is said to
have been defiled by the petitioner and his associates is the statute of
Rabindranath Tagore, a poet and sage Venerated by all in this country and
affords sufficient ground for detention. The other grounds also directly connected
the act with the disturbance of public order within the meaning of s. 3(2)(c)
of the Act.
[798 F] State of West Bengal v. Ashok Dey and
Ors. etc., Crl. Appeal Nos. 217 to 233 of 1971-decided on 19-11-1971, Madhu
Limaye v. Sub Divisional Magistrate Monghyr and others  3 S.C.R. 764 Dr.
Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar and Ors,.  1 S.C.R 709, referred to.
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION : Writ Petition No. 218
Under Art. 32 of the Constitution of India
for a writ in the nature of habeas corpus) S. K. Mehta, for the petitioner.
D.N. Mukherjee, G. S. Chatterjee and Sukumar
Basu, for the respondent.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
P.Jaganmhan Reddy J. This petition under Article 32 challenges the detention
under the West Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act, 1970 (hereinafter
called 'the Act')'. It may be mentioned that this and other Writ Petitions were
adjourned till the decision of this Court on the validity and vires of the Act
which has now been decided in the State of West Betir gal v Ashok Dey &
Ors. etc.etc(1) In that case it, has been held that the provisions of the Act
do not contravene any of the mandates of the Constitution, as such this
Petition and the others which had stood over till that decision have come up for
consideration as to whether the detention ire legal.
789 In this and other petitions three main
contentions have been urged on behalf of the respective petitioners by Shri S.
K. Mehta who is assisting us as Amicus Curiae. They are : (i) Whether the mandatory
provisions of the, Act have been complied with; (ii) whether the grounds are
irrelevant or vague and (iii) whether the State Government has confirmed the
opinion of the Advisory Board that there was sufficient cause for detaining
them within three months from the date of the detention and whether the
communication to the detenue has been made within that period.
We shall give the dates of relevant steps
taken in respect of each of the detenues but before we do so it will be
convenient to deal with the legal submissions in the light of which the facts
of each case can be better appreciated.
The mandatory requirements under the Act are
that the order of detention must be passed by the detaining authority, that it
should be forthwith communicated under sub-sec. (4) of Section 1 to the State
Government together with the grounds of detention. It is provided by Section 8
that the grounds of detention must be served on the detenue within 5 days from
the date of detention, that these must be approved by the State Government
within 12 days from that date and thereafter as soon as may be a report of this
fact together with grounds and other particulars on which the order has been
made should be made to the Central Government under clause (5) of Section 3 and
that under Section 10 the State Government is required to place within 30 days
from the date of detention before the Advisory Board (hereinafter called 'the
Board') constituted under Section 9, the grounds of detention, the
representation of the detenue, if any, along with the report made in case of a
detention by an officer specified in sub-sec. (3) of Section 3. Thereafter it
is incumbent on the Advisory Board after hearing the detenue in person, if he
so desires, to report the State Government under Section 11 its opinion within
ten weeks from the date of detention, as to whether or not there is sufficient
cause for the detention of the person concerned. Under Section 12 where the
Board is of opinion that there is sufficient cause for detention of a person, the
State Government may confirm the detention order and continue the detention of
the person concerned for such period as it thinks fit. In case the opinion of
the Board is that there is no sufficient cause for detention the State
Government shall revoke the detention order and cause the person to be released
forthwith. The maximum period for which any person may be detainedin pursuance
of any detention order which has been confirmed shall under Section 13, be
twelve months from the date of detention, but the State Government can within
that period notwithstanding that the order has been made by an officer
specified in sub-section (3) of 790 Section 3 revoke or modify the order of
detention, which however, does not preclude it from making a fresh order under
Section 3 against the same person in a case where fresh facts come into
existence after the date of revocation or expiry provided either the State
Government or the officer specified in sub Section (3) of Section 3 as the case
may be considers that such an order should be made.
The learned Advocate for the Petitioner
contends that the State Government must confirm the opinion of the Board that
there is sufficient cause for the detention within three months from the date
of detention and the confirmation should also be communicated to the detenu
within that period. This submission is based on the analogy of the requirement
of sub. sec. (2) of Section 12 where the State Government on receipt of the
opinion from the Board that there is no sufficient cause for the detention has
to revoke the order and direct the release of the detenue forthwith, which
implies that the State Government should apply its mind immediately as soon as
a report is received from the Board irrespective of whether in its opinion
there is sufficient cause or not for the detention. The State Government he
says has therefore to make up its mind to confirm the opinion and extend the
period of detention immediately after the receipt of the report from the Board
which under the provisions of the Act has to be within 10 weeks from the date
of detention and in any case not later than three months. On behalf of the
State however it is strenuously contended that there is no warrant for this
submission as neither the Act nor clause (4) of Article 22 of the Constitution
enjoins on the State Government the duty to confirm the Board's report within
three months much less the duty to communicate such confirmation to the
Relying on the decision of this Court in
Dattatraya Moreshwar Pangarkar v. The State of Bombay & Ors.(1) he submits
that all that is required is for the Board to submit its report within three
months and thereafter the State Government may confirm the opinion and extend
the period within a reasonable time.
It may be pertinent to refer to clause (4) of
Article 22 of the Constitution under which no law providing for Preventive
Detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than
three months unless a Board consisting of persons who have or have been or are
qualified to be appointed as Judges of the High Court, as referred to above,
has reported within three months that there is in its opinion sufficient cause
for such detention. It is evident from this provision that a law for Preventive
Detention upto three months can be made under clause (4) subject to the
limitation contained in clauses (5) to (7) of the (1)  S.C.R. 612.
791 Article. If a longer period of detention
is to be provided for the law must subject to clauses (5) to (7) make provision
for a reference to a Board as provided in clause (4) and for it to report on
the sufficiency or otherwise of the detention which should be within three
months from the date of determined. This requirement however is not insisted
upon in cases where a law is made under sub-clause (a) of clause (7) of the
said Article. In cases where the law provides for a reference to the Board or
the receipt of its affirmative opinion the initial detention is only tentative
for three months and only when the Board reports that there is sufficient cause
for the detention that the question of confinnation and extension of the period
beyond three months will arise. The mere fact that the provision of a law under
Article 22(4) requires a reference to be made to the Board within a particular
period or for the Board to make its report by a specified time is not enough.
The State Government has to take action only after a report is received from
the Board expressing its opinion as to the sufficiency or otherwise of the
detention. If the opinion of the Board that there is sufficient cause is
received after three months from the detention the detention will be illegal as
it is a contravention of the mandatory provision of clause (4). In cases where
the report is received within three months that there is no sufficient cause
for detention but no action is taken thereon by the State Government to release
the detenue or where its opinion is that there is sufficient cause, the detenue
is neither automatically released nor is the period of his detention extended.
It is therefore a crucial requirement of the Constitutional provision that the
appropriate Government has to take action on the report of the Board, because
as we said on that action would depend the revocation of the order and his
release or the continuance of the detention beyond three months. In other words
even where the Board is of opinion that there is sufficient cause the State
Government is not bound to confirm that opinion. It can notwithstanding that
opinion revoke the order. No doubt such a power can be exercised even after the
confirmation of the order but that is not to deny the State Government the
power to revoke the order even before confirming it. Viewed from any angle it
is essential that the appropriate Government should take positiveaction on the
report of the Board which action alone determines whether the detention is to
be terminated or continued. It would therefore prima facie appear that action
should be taken immediately after the receipt of the opinion of the Board or at
any rate within three months from the date a person is detained. It is for this
reason after the Constitution every legislation dealing with Preventive
Detention has made specific provision for confirmation and continuance of
detention in view of the Constitutional mandate contained in Article 22(4). A
period 792 within which the appropriate Government has to make a reference to
the Board, the period within which the Board has to make a report on the
sufficiency of the ground for detention is provided for, which has been
uniformly one month and ten weeks respectively-. The period of ten weeks for
the submission of the report by the Board where Article 22(4) provides for
twelve weeks is designedly fixed because that would give the appropriate
Governments two weeks to confirm and extend the period or not to confirm. of
course the opinion of the Board need not necessarily be given on the last day
of the expiry of the ten weeks. It is quite possible that this information may
be submitted to the appropriate Government well within ten weeks. In such cases
a question whether the confirmation and extension has to be made by the
appropriate Government within a reasonable period may arise for consideration,
but in any case failure to confirm and extend the period within three months
will result in the detention becoming illegal the moment the three months
period has elapsed without such confirmation.
Any subsequent action by the appropriate
Government after the three months cannot have the effect of extending the period
of detention. This view of ours is further fortified by Section 13 of the Act
where the maximum period for which any person may be detained in pursuance of
any detention order which has been confirmed under Section 12 shall be 12
months from the date of detention. This requirement would suggest that the
extension of the period of detention beyond three months upto a maximum of 12
months is from the date of confirmation of the opinion of the Board which if
unconfirmed would not extend the period beyond three months.
If so at what point of time should that be
confirmed ? It would be meaningless to suggest that the confirmation of the
Board's opinion can take place beyond three months when the period of detention
has come to an end and has not been extended by the want of it. Looking at it
in a different way what these provisions amount to is that no person can be
detained for any period beyond three months or for any period thereafter upto
12 months unless the Board's opinion is confirmed within three months.
A similar view has been taken by the several
Courts in this country right from 1952 onwards on Section 11 and 11 (A) of the
Preventive Detention Act which is analogous to Section 12 and Section 13 of the
Act. See Kaur Singh v. The State(1), Dhadhal Kanthad Valeg v. Saurashtra
State(2), Umed Singh Narubha v. State(3). A Bench of the Mysore High Court in
Sangappa Mallappa Kodli & Ors. v. The State of Mysore & Ors. (4).
referred to these decisions. The learned Advocate General in (1) AIR 1952 Pepsu
(2) AIR 1953 Sau. 138.
(3) AIR 1953 San. 51.
(4) AIR 1959 Mysore 7.
793 that case had contended on behalf of the
State as was contended in the case before us on behalf of the State of West
Bengal that the confirmation mentioned in Section 11 of the Preventive
Detention Act was a mere formality and became redundant in view of the fact
that the Government had already approved of the order of detention, because the
word 'may' in Section 11 does not make the confirmation of the detention
mandatory. It was further argued that there was nothing illegal in confirming
the order of detention beyond the period of three months from the date of
detention either under the Constitution or under the Act itself, because what
the Constitution lays down is that unless the Board has made a report to the
effect that there is sufficient cause for such detention within three months
from the date of detention, there can be no detention of a person under any law
for a longer period than three months and nothing more, but it does not however
say that the order of confirmation has to be within three months from the date
of detention. S. R.
Das, C.J. rejecting this contention observed
at page 9 :
"In my opinion having regard to the
different provisions of the Preventive Detention Act, the order of confirmation
which the Government is required to make under Section 11 of the Act has to be
made within a period of three months from the date of detention. In my opinion
the contention of the petitioners on this part of their case finds support from
the very sections of the Preventive Detention Act and particularly from the
wording of subsection (1) of Section 11 itself. That subsection, to my mind,
makes it clear that the confirmation order in question has to be made if the
Government after receipt of the report from the Advisory Board decides to
continue the detention and in view of the provisions of clause (4) of Article
22 of the Constitution such confirmation has to, be made within three months
from the date of detention".
The Calcutta High Court has recently
construed the provisions of the Act Ashvini Kumar Banerjee v. The State &
(1) 1, which we are now construing on the
question whether the confirmation under Section 12(1) should be made within
three months from the date of detention. It considered the several cases to
which we have earlier referred and held that where there is a specified time
provided for in clause (4) of Article 22 of the Constitution of India the
concept of reasonable time cannot be introduced in interpreting the provisions
of sub-sec. (1) to Sec. 12 of the Act. 'The absence of a time limit in express
terms in the body of Section 12(1) of the Act does not render it to be (1)
1970-71 (Col. LXXV) Calcutta Weekly Notes-866.
794 ambiguous and that the Board cannot be
equated with the State Government because it can only advise and not act by way
of passing an order of detention or continuing it thereafter. This is left to
the over-riding discretion of the State Government.
We agree with the views expressed in these
The case of Dattatreya Moreshwar Pangarkar(1)
does not deal with this aspect. There the two questions which were considered
were (1) whether the order of confirmation was to be in writing and should be
expressed in the form required by Article 166(1) of the Constitution, and (2)
if a confirmation order is made by the, appropriate Government what is the
period for which the detention has to be extended, that is does it have the
effect of extending the period and if so for what period. That was a case under
Section 11 ( 1 ) of the Preventive Detention Act. The majority Mahajan J,
dissenting, decided that the omission to state the period of further detention
while confirming the detention order under Section 11 (1) of the Preventive
Detention Act could not render the detention illegal. In our view therefore the
confirmation of the opinion of the Advisory Board to continue the detention
beyond three months must be within three months from the date of detention in
conformity with the mandate in clause (4) of Article 22.
The next submission is that the confirmation
should not only be in writing but it should be communicated to the determine
within the period of three months from the date of detention. While we consider
the former submission to be valid the latter has no justification. No doubt in
Mohammed Afzal Khan v. State of Jammu & Kashmir(1), this Court had on the
construction of Section 14 of the Jammu & Kashmir Preventive Detention Act
had held that the Section does not in terms provide for the making of a formal
order but that was on the construction of a provision which is not in
parimutuel of the provisions of the Act. Section 14 of the Jammu & Kashmir
Preventive Detention Act does not provide for the confirmation of the Board's
opinion because that was a provision made under clause 7 of Article 22 where it
provide for the detention or continuation in detention of a person without
obtinig the opinion of a Board for a period longer than three months but not
exceeding any years from the date of detention, where such a person is detained
with a view to preventing hint from acting in a manner prejudicial to (i) the
security of tile State, (ii) the maintenance of public order. on the question
of the communication to detenue of the decision to continue his detention
beyond three months, Das, C. j. said that there is no warrant for the
proposition that the decision of the Government (1)  S.C.R. 612.
(2) (1957) S.C.R. 63.
795 must be communicated to the detenue nor
has it been shown how the communication of this decision would have been
beneficial to the detenue. He referred to the case of Achhar Singh v. State of
Punjab(1), where this Court had said that 'the omission to convey the order
under Section 1 1 of the Indian Preventive Detention Act does not make the
detention illegal or result in infringement of the petitioner's fundamental
rights'. After referring to this decision this Court however, pointed out, if
that be the position under Section 11 of the Indian Preventive Detention Act
which provides for the making of a formal order all the more must the position
be the same under Section 14 of the Jammu & Kashmir Preventive Detention
Act which does not in terms require any formal order to be made. Whatever may
be the position under the Jammu & Kashmir Act under the Act which we are
considering as pointed out earlier the State Government has to confirm the
opinion of the Board that there is cause for the detention of the person
concerned which confirmation cannot purely be a mental act, a subjective one
but must result in an objective action namely that it should be recorded in
writing. Though there is no provision in the Act an order of confirmation which
has the effect of extending the period of detention beyond the mandatory period
of three months must be made known to the detenue, in our view there is no
warrant or justification for an order confirming the detention on the opinion
of the Board which has the effect of extending the period of detention
remaining in the files of the executive without the same being communicated to
the person most concerned-the detenue-whose freedom has been subjected to
jeopardy, He is entitled to know that the Board had considered his
representation as well as his personal submissions if he has chosen to appear
before it and that it had been found that there was sufficient cause for his
detention and that the State Government had agreed with it. In Biren Dutta
v. Chief Commissioner of Tripura &
Another (2), another Constitution Bench of this Court had to consider this
matter on the provisions of Rule 30(1) (b) and Rule 30A(8) :of the Defence of
India Rules 1962. Gajendragadkar, J.
speaking for the Court held that even those
rules the authority exercising the power under rule 30A(8) should regard its
decision clearly and unambiguously extending the Period of detention beyond six
months which was the limit under those rules, for he observed, "After all,
the liberty of the citizen is in question and if the detention of the detenue
is intended to IV continued as a result of the decision reached by the
appropriate authority it should say so in clear and unambiguous terms".
While the decision of the Government to confirm the opinion of the Board which
according to (1) Petn. No. 359 of 1951-decided on 22-11-1951. (2)  8
796 the decision in Dattatraya Moreshwar
Pangarkar(1), has the effect of extending the period of detention beyond three
months is in consonance with the tenor of the Act as well as the provisions of
the Constitution, there is nothing to warrant the submission that the order of
confirmation and extension of the period of his detention should also be within
three months from the date of detention. Nonetheless the communication must be
within a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time must necessarily depend
upon the circumstances of each case. The effect of noncommunication, however,
may be an irregularity which does not make the detention otherwise legal,
illegal. In Biren Dutta's case(1) the Court was of the view that though under
Rule 30A(8) there is nothing to indicate that the appropriate authority should
communicate to the detenue the decision to extend the period beyond three
months, "it is desirable and it would be fair and just that such a
decision should in every case be communicated to the detenue". In this
case there is no allegation that the detenue suffered any prejudice by the
delay and in the absence of such an allegation the State is justified in its
submission that there may be sufficient grounds for the delay in not communicating
it within a reasonable time should the communication itself be considered by
this Court to be unduly delayed.
We will now examine the merits of the case to
determine whether the confirmation was made within three months from the date
of the detention and whether the grounds of detention are irrelevant or vague.
The order of detention was made by the District Magistrate, Bankura on 16-1-71
and petitioner was arrested on 20-1-71. On the same day he was served with the
order and the grounds of detention. The District Magistrate made a report to
the Government also on the same day which was approved by the State Government
on 27-1-71 so that the mandatory provisions of the Act both in respect of the
report to be made to the State Government within 5 days from the date of the
order and the approval of the detention within 12 days from the date of
detention were satisfied. On the 27th itself a report was made to the Central
Government as required under section 13. The State Government placed the
detention order, the grounds and the report etc. before the Advisory Board on
the 18th February 1971 which is also within 30 days from the date of detention
as required under section 10. The State Government rejected the representation
made by the detenue on the 15th March'1971 and the Advisory Board submitted its
report that there was sufficient cause for his detention on the 23rd March 1971
which was confirmed on 8-4-71. In the note file of the Government which we (1)
 S.C.R. 612.
(2)  S.C.R.205.
797 perused, though confirmation was recorded
within three months, the communication was made later on the 26th August 1971.
The mandatory provisions, therefore, are fully complied with.
The next question is whether the grounds are
vague and irrelevant. These are as follows:(i) that on 7-1-71 night you and
your associates including Somesh Chandra Deb mutilated the statue of the
eminent Indian Poet Rabindra Nath Tagore installed in a public place at
Boilapara in Bishnupur town and thereby caused insult to an object of public
(ii)That on 11-1-71 at about 01.45 hrs. you
and your associates broke into the Post Office situated at Rashikguni in
Bishnupur town and caused mischief to it by fire by destroying its official
records by burning.
It was contended that the associates of the
petitioner have not been specified and therefore it will be difficult for the
petitioner to make effective representation in respect thereof. We think there
is no validity in this submission.
Not only the dates and the time in each of
the grounds have been mentioned but the acts of the petitioner have been
specified in detail to enable him to make an effective representation. In our
view it is not necessary for the petitioner to make an effective representation
to specify all his associates because they may not have been known.
The petitioner is being detained in respect
of his acts and if in association with others he has acted in a manner
prejudicial to the maintenance of the public order, his detention cannot be
said to be illegal.
It is again contended relying on Madhu Limaye
v. Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Monghyr and others(1) and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia
v. State of Bihar and Ors.(2) that the acts specified in each of the grounds do
not amount to disturbance of public order though they may affect law and order.
This contention is equally untenable because section 3(2) of the Act defines
the expression "acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the
State or the maintenance of public order" as given in sub-clauses (a) to
(e) of the said subsection. We are here in this case concerned with the
definition given in section 3 (2) (c) which makes any act 'causing insult to
the Indian National Flag or to any other object of public veneration whether by
mutilating, damaging, burning, defiling, destroying or otherwise, or
instigating any person to do so. The explanation to this sub-clause includes in
the (1)  3 S.C.R. 746.
(2)  1 S.C.R. 709.
798 causing of insult to any object of public
veneration, any portrait or statue of an eminent Indian, installed in a public
place as a mark of respect to him or to his memory.
The validity of subsection (2) of section 3
of the Act was challenged recently in the case of State of West Bengal v. Ashok
Dey and others(3), but this Court held that it was valid. The challenge to
clauses (a), (b), (d) and (e) dealing with disturbance of a public order in the
State with respect to which it was said there can be no two opinions about the
acts covered by these being likely to be prejudicial to the maintenance of
public order. In regard to clause (c) the argument that insulting the object of
public veneration in privacy without the act causing insult being noticed by
anyone who holds them in veneration could have no rational nexus with the disturbance
of public order or security of State, was in the abstract described as
attractive. In the light of the circumstances in which the Act was passed the
mischief intended to be removed by this enactment and the object and purpose of
enacting it, this Court held that clause (c) of subsection (2) considered in
the background of sub-section (1) of section 3 can "be construed to mean,
causing insult to the Indian National Flag or any other object of public
veneration in such a situation as reasonably exposes the act, causing such
insult to the view of those who hold these objects in veneration or to the
public view and it would not cover cases where the Indian National Flag or
other object of public veneration is mutilated, damaged, burned, defiled or
destroyed completely unseen or when incapable of being seen by anyone whose
feelings are likely to be hurt thereby. The act causing insult referred to in
clause (c) must be such as would be capable of arousing the feelings of
indignation in someone and that can only be the case when in cult is caused in
the circumstances just explained", and was accordingly restricted to such
situation. The challenge there was negatived. In this case what is said to have
been defiled by the petitioner and his associates is the statue of Rabindra
Nath Tagore, a Poet and sage venerated by all in this country and affords a
sufficient ground for detention.
The other grounds also directly connect the
act with the disturbance of public order.
Having regard to the various references the
detention of the petitioner in our view is not illegal and accordingly we
dismiss this petition.
G.C. Petition dismissed.
(1) Cr. App. Nos. 217 to 233 of 1971 decided