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Attempt Made By Centre To Justify Delay In Deciding Representation, Amplifies Bureaucratic Red-Tapism In Movement Of Files: Allahabad HC Quashes NSA Detention Order

Nupur Thapliyal
2 July 2021 5:57 AM GMT
Attempt Made By Centre To Justify Delay In Deciding Representation, Amplifies Bureaucratic Red-Tapism In Movement Of Files: Allahabad HC Quashes NSA Detention Order
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Pulling up the Centre and the State Government for their delay in deciding the representation made by the detenue, the Allahabad High Court has recently quashed the detention order passed under the National Security Act after opining that Centre's attempt to justify the delay amplifies Bureaucratic Red-Tapism in movement of files. Observing that the State failed to discharge its obligation...

Pulling up the Centre and the State Government for their delay in deciding the representation made by the detenue, the Allahabad High Court has recently quashed the detention order passed under the National Security Act after opining that Centre's attempt to justify the delay amplifies Bureaucratic Red-Tapism in movement of files.

Observing that the State failed to discharge its obligation in deciding the representation expeditiously, a division bench comprising of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Jaspreet Singh ordered thus:

"From the perusal of the counter-affidavit filed by the Union of India, it indicates that an attempt has been made by the Central Government to justify the delay in deciding the representation. In paragraph 5 (a) to 5 (d) various dates have been mentioned which only indicates the movement of file from one desk to the other which only further amplifies the bureaucratic/redtapism in the movement of the files, without considering that the issue of detention is a priority and the matter should have received prompt attention."

Furthermore, the Court also said:

"..there is no doubt that the State failed to discharge its obligation in deciding the representation expeditiously and moreover the Central Government has not decided the representation dated 21.07.2020 till date which is fatal and vitiates the detention order."

The development came after the bench was dealing with a habeas corpus plea filed by a detenue challenging the NSA detention order dated 3rd July 2020 in a case concerning sec. 302, 394, 216-A, 120-B/34 I.P.C. and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act.

It was alleged that on 20th February last year, four men had entered a wholesale shop while wearing masks, having fire arms and had forcibly taken away away two packets, one carrying cash and the other having keys to a cupboard when an employee was shot and had died later during his treatment.

It was thus the case of the petitioner that his representation dated 13th July 2020 seeking revocation of his detention was rejected by the State Government on 28th July 2020. Thereafter, another representation was addressed to the Advisory Board Committee, the Central Government as well as the State Government dated 21st July, 2020.

According to the petitioner, it was submitted that the representation was not decided expeditiously by the authorities rendering his detention bad in the eyes of law.

Considering the facts of the case and affidavits filed on behalf of the Centre and State Government, the Court was of the view that there is nothing on record to indicate that the second representation dated 21st July 2021 was decided.

"Thus what transpires from the record is that in so far as the first representation dated 13.07.2020 is concerned (received by the Authority on 15.07.2020), the same came to be decided both by the State Government as well as by the Central Government though the Central Government pushed the file in a casual manner." The Court observed at the outset.

It was held thus:

"In view of the aforesaid facts and the law noticed above, the writ petition succeeds and the detention order is quashed. The petitioner shall be released forthwith by the respondents unless he is required in any other case."

Title: Mohhammad Sazid v. Superintendent, District Jail, Lucknow & Ors

Click Here To Read Order

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