Ram Krishna Paul Vs. The Govt. of West
Bengal & Ors  INSC 42 (3 February 1972)
KHANNA, HANS RAJ KHANNA, HANS RAJ SHELAT,
MATHEW, KUTTYIL KURIEN
CITATION: 1972 AIR 863 1972 SCR (3) 401 1972
SCC (1) 570
D 1972 SC1650 (5) F 1990 SC1272 (10)
West Bengal (Prevention of Violent
Activities) Act, 1970, s. 3--Grounds of detention--One of the grounds
extraneous in character. Order of detention would be vitiated.
The petitioner was detained under section 6
of the West Bengal Prevention of Violent Activities Act, 1970. One of the
grounds of detention which was supplied to the petitioner under sub-section (1)
of section 8 was that he along with his associates went to a pharmacy posing
himself as a purchaser of medicine and demanded money from the owner of the
pharmacy in the name of collection towards party fund and out of fear the owner
delivered Rs. 10/to him.
Quashing the order of detention,
HELD : (i) The ground does not fall under any
of the clauses of s. 3 setting out the circumstances under which a person can
be ordered to be detained and is therefore extraneous in character.
(ii) There is no allegation in the ground
that the petitioner had put any person in fear of any injury to that person or
to any other. As such it cannot be said that the petitioner was guilty of
extortion. Intention-ally putting a person in. fear of injury to himself or any
other is a necessary ingredient of the offence of extortion. [403 B] (iii)
There is nothing to show that the District Magistrate would, have passed the
order of detention of the petitioner in case he was not influenced by the facts
mentioned in the ground. Therefore, the extraneous nature of even one of the
grounds of detention would vitiate the order of detention. [403 D]
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: Writ Petition No. 307
Under article 32 of the Constitution of India
for a writ in the nature of habeas corpus.
R. K. Jain, for the petitioner G. L. Mukhoty
and G. S. Chatterjee, for the respondent.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Khanna, J. This is a petition through jail under article 32 of the Constitution
of India for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus by Ram Krishna Paul who
has been ordered to be detained under section 3 of the West Bengal (Prevention
of Violent Activities) Act, 1970 (President's Act No. 19 of 1970), hereinafter
referred to as the Act.
402 The order of detention was made against
the petitioner under sub-section (1) read with sub-section (3) of section 3 of
the Act by the District Magistrate, Murshidabad on January 27, 1971. According
to the order of detention, the District Magistrate was satisfied with respect
to the petitioner that with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner
prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, it was necessary to make an
order directing his detention. The petitioner in pursuance of the detention
order was arrested on January 28, 1971 and was served with the same day with
the ground of detention together with vernacular translation thereof. Report
about the making of the detention order was sent by the District Magistrate to
the State Government along with the grounds of detention and other particulars
on January 27, 1971. The report and the particulars were considered by the
State Government and the order of detention was approved by the said Government
on February 5, 1971. The same day the State Government submitted a report to
the Central Government together with the grounds of detention and other
particulars. On February 18, 1971 the State Government in its Home Department
received representation dated February 15, 1971 sent by the petitioner.
The said representation after consideration
was rejected by the State Government 'on March 23, 1971. In the meanwhile, on
February 25, 1971 the State Government placed the case relating to the
petitioner before the Advisory Board. The representation made by the petitioner
was sent by the State Government to the Board on March 23, 1971. The Advisory
Board after hearing the petitioner, sent its report to the State Government on
April 5, 1971. Opinion was expressed in its report by the Advisory Board that
there was sufficient cause for the detention of the petitioner' The State
Government confirmed the order of detention of the petitioner on May 31, 1971.
The confirmation order was communicated to the petitioner as per memorandum
dated June 10, 1971.
The petition was resisted by the respondents
and the affidavit of Shri Manoranjan Dey, Assistant Secretary, Home (Special)
Department, Government of West Bengal was filed in opposition to the petition.
After hearing Mr. R. K. Jain who argued the
matter amicus curiae on behalf of the petitioner and Mr. G. L. Mukhoti on
behalf of the respondents on January 13, 1972, we directed that, for reasons to
be recorded later, the petitioner should be set at liberty. We now proceed to
give reasons in support of our decision.
Although a number of submissions were made on
behalf of the petitioner at the hearing, it is, in our opinion, not necessary
to deal with all of them as the detention order is liable to be quashed because
one of the grounds for the detention of the petitioner was 403 extraneous and
did not in law justify the making of the detention order.
The grounds of detention which were supplied
to the petitioner under sub-section (1) of section 8 of the Act read as under :
" (1) That on 8-12-70 at about 20.00
hours you along with your associates went to Jnanada Pharmacy in Berhampore
town posing yourself a purchaser of medicine and demanded money from the owner
of the Pharmacy in the name of collection towards party fund. Out of fear, the
owner of the pharmacy delivered Rs. 10/to you.
(2) That on 18-12-70 at about 20.00 hours you
along with your associates had been to Punjab Dastralaya Khagra, P. S.
Berhampor and demanded Rs. 100/from the shopkeeper at the point of dagger on
the plea of collecting donation towards the party fund. Putting the owner of
the shop in fear of instant death, you induced him to deliver up an amount of
Rs. 100/then and there, (3) That on 22-10-70 at about 19.30 hours you along
with your associates had been to Jnanada Pharmacy, Berhampore town and demanded
Rs. 250/from the owner of the Pharmacy at the point of dagger putting him in
fear of instant death. The owner of the Pharmacy was spared on payment of Rs.
50/forthwith. You and your associates went away fixing 26-12-70 for payment of
the remaining amount.
(4) That on 26-12-70 a,. about 20.00 hours
you along with your associates came to Jnanada Pharmacy, Berhampore and
realised Rs. 20/from the owner of the Pharmacy at the point of dagger putting
him in fear of instant death." The various circumstances under which a
Person can be' ordered to be detained have been set out in the different
clauses of section 3 of the Act. Ground No. 1 supplied to the petitioner, in
our opinion, does not fall under any of those clauses. According to Mr. Mukhoti
the facts set out in ground No. 1 would show that the petitioner received Rs. 10/from
the owner of Jnanada Pharmacy as a result of extortion. Extortion has been defined
in section 383 of the Indian Penal Co& as under :
"Whoever intentionally puts any person
in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other, and thereby 404
dishonestly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any
property or valuable security or anything signed or sealed which may be
converted into a valuable security, commits "extortion." It would
appear from the above definition that before a person can be guilty of
extortion, he should intentionally put any person in fear of injury, to that
person or to any other, and thereby induce that person so put in fear to
deliver to any person some property, valuable security or anything signed or
sealed which may be converted into valuable security. Intentionally putting a
person in fear of injury to himself or any other is, thus, a necessary
ingredient of the offence of extortion. In ground No. 1, however, there is no
allegation that the petitioner had put any person in fear of any injury, to
that person or to any other. As such, it cannot besaid that the petitioner was
guilty of extortion.
We thus find that ground No. 1 was of an
extraneous character and did not justify an order of detention. There is also
nothing to show that the District Magistrate would have passed an order of detention
of the petitioner in case he was not influenced by facts given in ground No. 1.
The extraneous nature of even one of the grounds of detention would, in our
opinion, vitiate the order of detention.
We, therefore, quash the order of detention
of the petitioner. K.B.N.