Kar HC | Detention order challenged for supplying illegible documents – test is to determine whether detenue rendered incapable of making representation

Karnataka High Court: The Division Bench of K.N. Phaneendra and K. Somashekhar, JJ. hearing a petition in the nature of habeas corpus, refused to interfere with the detention order passed against petitioner herein finding no reasons, therefore. 

The instant petition sought quashing of detention order passed against the detenue-petitioner on the sole ground that the said order was vitiated as the documents furnished to him were illegible. It was averred that the order was violative of Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India as the procedure followed had affected his right to make meaningful representation.

The Bench took note of Apex Court’s judgment in Union of India v. Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, 1993 Supp (1) SCC 405 where it was held that if the detenue alleges supply of illegible documents by detaining authority, then the extent and nature of illegibility and its effect on his right of representation must be considered by Court. 

In the present case, the Court opined that the test was to determine that whether the illegible portion supplied to petitioner was so relevant that because of that portion alone he could not make proper representation before the Advisory Board or government. 

It was found that the illegible portions supplied to the petitioner were merely bail orders passed in his favour by the competent authority. Hence, finding no explanation from the petitioner, his petition was dismissed. [Vijaya v. Commissioner of Police, 2018 SCC OnLine Kar 3200, Order dated 04-12-2018]

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