1999 ALL MR (Cri) 853
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
N. ARUMUGHAM AND T.K. CHANDRASHEKHARA DAS, JJ.
Ravi Chabiram Sharma Vs. R. H. Mendonca, Commis. Of Police & Ors.
Cri. Writ Petition No. 312 of 1998
21st December, 1998
Petitioner Counsel: U. N. TRIPATHI
Respondent Counsel: RAJIV L. PATIL, Addl. P.P.
(A) Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates Act (1981), S.3 - Detention under - Subjective satisfaction - Illegible documents - Illegibility of certain words and sentences in not so very vital documents - Held there was no impairment of detenu's right under Art. 22(5) of the Constitution.
AIR 1987 SC 1725 and 1997 ALL MR (Cri) 1782 Rel. on.
(B) Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates Act (1981), S.3 - Right of representation against detention - Grounds of detention - Detenu had studied upto 10th standard in English medium - His mother tongue was Hindi - He was provided translation of original grounds in English into Hindi - Hindi version not containing certain words but carried substantially the same meaning as in English version - Held there was no infraction of Art. 22(5) of the Constitution. (Para 28)
(C) Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates Act (1981), S.3 - Delay in consideration of representation - Eight days delay but there were four intervening holidays - Held four days delay cannot be said to be indicative of any laxity or letharginess. (Para 30)
1990 (Supp) SCC 59 [Para 15]
1998 ALL MR (Cri) 1344 [Para 16]
Cri.W.P. No. 408/1990 dt. 24-7-1990 [Para 17]
1982 Cri. L.J. 1642 [Para 18]
1997 ALL MR (Cri) 1782 [Para 19]
AIR 1987 SC 1725 [Para 21]
AIR 1974 SC 2125 [Para 26]
AIR 1972 SC 1794 [Para 26]
AIR 1973 SC 300 : 1949 Cri. L.J. 405 [Para 26]
1992 Cri. L.J. 1078 [Para 27]
N. ARUMUGHAM, J.:- Through filing this writ of Habeas Corpus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner-the detenu himself - has challenged the order of detention passed by the first respondent Mr. R. H. Mendonca, the Commissioner of Police, Bhrihan Mumbai in Detention Order bearing No. 103/P.C.B./D.P./Zone-VI/1997 dated 18-12-1997, pursuant to sub-clause (1) of section 3 of Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, 1981 (No. LV of 1981) amended on 1996, for its illegality and impropriety. The order of detention shown as Exh. A along with the grounds of detention annexed as Exh. B with the documents numbering about 35, all covering from page 1 to 252 annexed in Exh. C, were served upon the detenu on 19-12-1997 simultaneously.
At about 19.45 hours on 18-8-1997 one Mr. Dattatraya Namdeo Sawant, a resident of Ghanashyam Kripa, R.B. Kadam Marg, Bhatwadi, Ghatkopar (West), Mumbai 4000 84 came to Ghatkopar Police Station and gave a complaint, which was registered in Ghatkopar Police Station C.R. No. 278/97 on 18-8-1997 for the offences under section 387, 34 of the Indian Penal Code with the following substratum :-
3. Shri. Dattatraya Namdeo Sawant has started building construction work since last one year, at Rupal Industries, opposite Sona Hospital, Bhatwadi, Kajupada, Ghatkopar (West), Mumbai and that at about 16.00 hours on 7-8-1997 while he was at his residence-cum-office, he received a telephone call through his telephone No. 5113011 and that person on line gave his name as Rohit Varma and told Dattatraya Sawant that he was speaking on behalf of Nanabhai and threatened Dattatraya Sawant to contact Nanabhai at Malaysia on Telephone No. 00872-685051625 and 6850511622 in connection with the construction work carried out by him at Bhatwadi. At about 15.00 hours on 8-8-1997 Dattatraya Sawant received a telephone call from Rohit Verma, who threatened him of death if Dattatraya Sawant failed to contact Nanabhai on the given telephone numbers. At about 14.30 hours on 9-8-1997 Dattatraya Sawant again received telephone from Rohit Verma, who threatened him for not contacting Nanabhai. Again on 13-8-1997 he received telephone call from Rohit Verma who then demanded money under threats of death. Likewise at about 10.40 hours on 17-8-1997 Dattatraya Sawant again received telephone from Rohit Varma who demanded Rupees 10 lacs under threats of death. Thereafter he also received telephone calls repeatedly on 25-8-1997, 27-8-1997 and on 28-8-1997 from the so called Rohit Verma and his associates by name Mahesh Raj @ Jitu Mehta in pursuance of demand made by him and his associates giving the name of Nanabhai. The said calls were recorded on Sanyo Pocket tape recorder. However the calls received by Mr. Sheshgiri Pai, the clerk of Dattatraya Sawant, on 27-8-1997 was also recorded on the said tape recorder. During negotiations, an amount of Rs. One lac was fixed. Then as decided on telephone, on 28-8-1997 at about 20.00 hours wearing clothes as decided, Dattatraya Sawant visited Hotel Radhakrishna, Sarvodaya Junction, L.B.S. Marg, along with the 10 bundles of G.C. Notes of Rs. 100/- on either side of the bundle. Thereafter at the time of handing over the said amount to the associate by name Chand @ Raju Soharab Khan, the police party raided the place and took charge of the amount, and documents including the G.C. Note of Rs.50/- bearing No. JHH-970092 which was decided as signal under panchanama and so also arrested his associate Chand Khan.
4. Further statement of Dattatraya Sawant dated 23-8-1997, 25-8-1997, 27-8-1997 and 28-8-1997 were on record which revealed the aforesaid incident. The statement of Sheshgiri Pai was also recorded by police, which corroborated the facts given by Dattatraya Sawant in his statement and added that Nanabhai is nobody but Chhota Rajan.
5. During the course of interrogation, Chand Khan admitted his complicity in this offence and added that he along with Jitu Mehta and Ravi Sharma have been collecting Khandni money from the parties under orders of Nanabhai i.e. Chhota Rajan and that Jitu Mehta has been using his mobile telephone. Accordingly on 29-8-1997 the detenu was arrested in the said case and in the statement before the police he admitted his complicity in the above crime. On 29-8-1997 the detenu and his associate Chand Khan were placed before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, 21st Court, Vikhroli, Mumbai and the detenu and his associate were remanded to police custody till 5-9-1997. However, the detenu made bail application before the leaned Magistrate's Court on 24-9-1997 and considering his bail application, inspite of objection from police, the learned Magistrate ordered him to be released on bail in sum of Rs. 10,000/- with one surety and thus the detenu had availed the bail facility on 1-10-1997.
6. During the course of enquiry, it was learnt that a number of persons have suffered at the hands of detenu in the localities and areas in question within the jurisdiction of Ghatkopar Police Station in Brihan Mumbai but the detenu being a weapon wielding desperado and notorious gangster, the victims are mortally afraid to complain openly against him. However, on the assurance given to them that, they would not be called upon to give evidence against him openly in the Court or any other open forum and that their names and identifying particulars would be kept secret and would not be disclosed to anyone, then only the following witnesses have vividly described before the police, the atrocities committed by him and that therefore, their statements have been recorded in camera the gist of which are as follows :-
7. Witness 'A' in his statement recorded on 4-9-1997 has stated that he knows the detenu and his associates as men of notorious gangster Chhota Rajan @ Nanabhai and that the detenu and his associates always carry dangerous weapons such as chopper, Revolver and extort money in lacks under the threats of death. The witness added further that somewhere in the first week of May 1997 he received telephone call from one Rohit Verma demanding Rs. 2 lacs by giving names of Nanabhai @ Chhota Rajan and further threatened to kill him or his family members, if the demand is not fulfilled. Thereafter the said witness received repeated calls regarding the demand. Then sometime in the second week of May 1997 the detenu along with his associate Chand Khan visited the office of this witness and collected Rs. 50,000/- from the drawer at the point of revolver and knife and further threatened him to keep the remaining amount ready and also threatened him not to report the matter to the police.
8. Witness B, a builder by profession, in his statement dated 4-9-1997 has stated that he knew the detenu and his associates as men of notorious goondas from the gang of Chhota Rajan @ Nanabhai and that the detenu and his associates always carry dangerous weapons like Revolver, knife and extort money from shop-keepers and traders. He further stated that sometime in the second week of June 1997 the detenu and his associate Chand Khan approached him and demanded Rs. 2 lacs on threats at the point of knife. The witness got frightened and become stunned. At this moment detenu forcibly removed Rs. 50,000/- from the drawer, and while leaving, the detenu threatened him not to report the matter to the police.
9. Having gone carefully through the materials placed and the documents pertaining to the above incidents, and by applying its mind fully to the factual matrix and the documents above referred, the detaining authority arrived at a subjective satisfaction that the detenu was acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. In view of the tendencies and inclination reflected in the offences committed by the detenu he was further satisfied that after having availed of the bail facilities and becoming a free person, the detenu is likely to revert to the similar activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in future and that therefore after giving the statutory warning and information as revealed in paras 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the ground of detention, has passed the detention order as shown in Annexure B of this case and it is this order is being challenged by filing the present writ petition.
10. In the writ petition though 9 grounds were taken so as to attack the impugned order for its impropriety and illegality, only 3 grounds have been dealt with by the paras in the petition which are Ground (C), (D) and (F) namely the illegible copies of the documents have been supplied to the detenu and wrong translation of the documents relied on by the detaining authority has been supplied to the petitioner, which resulted that the petitioner was not able to make a detailed and effective representation to the detaining authority and others and thereby his right under Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India has been taken away. Thirdly his representation sent on 31-12-1997 has not been considered as early as possible but however delayed on 2-2-1998 and that therefore on the third ground also the impugned order of detention became vitiated. The said three grounds are respectively ground (C), (D) and (F) in the writ petition.
11. Repudiating every one of the contention and the grounds raised by the petitioner, Shri R. H. Mendonca the Commissioner of Police, Brihan Mumbai, as well as Mr. V. B. Sankhe, Under secretary to the Government of Maharashtra, Home Department (Special), Mantralaya, Mumbai, have filed their detailed affidavit of returns denying the very infirmities claimed to have been happened in the impugned detention order. In other words the respondent have denied each and every one of the grounds clearly spelt out by the petitioner in writ petition and justified the impugned order of detention as a valid one in all respects.
13. Shri. U. N. Tripathi the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner dealt his first attack upon the impugned order on ground no. (C) to the effect that the petitioner has been furnished various documents in compilation referred to and relied upon the formulation of the ground of detention that there are about 15 pages which are fully and partly illegible and hence it has become not readable. Thus it has become difficult to read and also to compare with its counter original document in English and Marathi which are illegible and that therefore the said in-dispersible copies of the documents furnished to him violates the first part of Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India and also deprived the petitioner to make effective representation to that effect.
14. To the above contention Mr. Rajiv Patil, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent submitted that all the copies of the documents furnished to the petitioner are not wholly illegible and indispensable but there are one or two, which also not a important document nor a vital document which in any manner tilt the balance in favour of the petitioner for the reason that the detaining authority has not relied upon the same to clamp the impugned order of detention and that therefore the said ground cannot adjust and cannot at all countenance.
"4. In view of the fact that the copies of the documents were, in fact, supplied at the request of the appellant, but the copies supplied were illegible, we are of the opinion, that the safeguards provided by the Constitution have not been followed. In that view of the matter the decision of the High Court can't be sustained and, therefore, is set aside. The order of detention dated June 9, 1998 is quashed and the appellant be set at liberty unless he is required in respect of any other proceedings."
16. A Division Bench of this Court in (Shri Shadab s/o Siddiq Khan Vs. Shri R. H. Mendonca and others), Cri. W.P. No.21 of 1998 dated 1-9-1998 (1998 ALL MR (Cri) 1344) in which one of us is a party (N. Arumugham, J.,) in para 4 has observed as follows :-
"We wish to emphasize that the right of the detenu to make a representation under Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India stipulates the right of making an effective representation and not a illusory one. And when illegible copies of documents are supplied to the detenu, as is the case here, the right to make an effective representation is whittled down to an illusory one. And this is in clear violation of the mandate of Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India.
Since in the instant case the detenu's right of making an effective representation under article 22(5) of the Constitution of India was violated, his continued detention is rendered illegal in law and the detention order would have to be set aside."
17. In yet another case held between (Haresh Vishin Gursahani Vs. State of Maharashtra and others), in Cri. W.P. No. 408 of 1990 a Division Bench of this court dated 24th July 1990 in paras 5 and 6 has held the following :-
"In this habeas corpus petition several contentions were taken up by the petitioner on behalf of the detenu but Mr. Karmali, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner put forth a contention taken up in paragraph 6 (xix) of this criminal writ petition. According to the learned Counsel this ground of challenge goes to the very root of the matter and invalidates the impugned order of detention. In view of this submission it would therefore be necessary to indicate in short the challenge contained in paragraph 6(xix) of the writ petition. That the detaining authority has not cared to observe the constitutional imperative in the supply of documents. The copies of documents furnished to the detenu along with the grounds of detention at page Nos. 17 and 104 are illegible. These documents have been relied upon by he detaining authority while issuing the order of detention and if this be so it cannot be said that it was an empty and idle formality. It was incumbent upon the detaining authority to furnish clear and legible copies of the documents to the detenu. Non supply of legible and readable copies of the documents amounts to non communication of the grounds of detention to the detenu and consequently the detenu's right to make effective and purposeful representation at the earliest opportunity was frustrated. Mr. Karmali therefore urged that on both these grounds it must be concluded that there has been infraction of both the facets of Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India and, consequently the impugned order of detention deserves to be quashed and set aside."
In view of this averment and contention raised before us, two clear cut averments have been made by the petitioner on behalf of the detenu in this petition ;
"(1) that the documents furnished to the detenu at pages 17 and 104 were relied upon by the detaining authority while formulating the grounds of detention and issuing the impugned order of detention, and,
(2) both these documents furnished to the detenu were illegible."
"Mr. Karmali learned counsel, in support of his submission drew our attention to the Division Bench Judgment of this Court in (Chandra Shekhar Ojha Vs. A. K. Karnik), 1982 Cri. L.J. 1642. More or less similar controversy arose before the Division Bench in the above matter. In this reported judgment the documents furnished to the detenu were also illegible but these documents were concerning one of the grounds on which the detention order was based. The argument of the learned Public Prosecutor in this case was that assuming that these documents were illegible that would not result into invalidating the detention order and yet the detaining authority can support the detention order with the aid of section 5-A of the Act. While dealing with this controversy the Division Bench in paragraph 8 observed as follows :-
"In the present case, therefore it will have to be held that the documents which were wholly illegible were not supplied at all to the detenu for all practical purposes."
It is well settled that if the detaining authority relies upon certain documents for the purpose of its satisfaction and if the grounds of detention were formulated on the basis of the material placed before it, it is obligatory upon the detaining authority to furnish the legible and readable copies of such documents which formed the basis of the grounds of detention. This is the procedural safeguard which is provided under Article 22(5) of the Constitution. The word 'communication' used in Article 22(5) has been interpreted by this Court as well as by the Supreme court on several occasions to mean the communication of the order of detention, grounds of detention and the material which formed the basis of the grounds of detention. When these procedural safeguards are complied with it amounts to communication of the grounds of detention and the detention order under Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India. In the present case we, therefore, called upon the learned public Prosecutor for the State as well as the Union of India to read the documents at pages 17 and 104. Both the learned Counsel in fairness stated that some portion of the documents was illegible, and unreadable. If this be so, in our opinion, it is clear that the detaining authority has failed to furnish the readable and legible copies of the documents at pages 17 and 104 of the compilation and consequently this amounts to non communication of the grounds of detention. If procedural safeguard has not been complied with in our opinion it amounts to infraction of Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India."
19. On the other hand a case held between (Mohamed Aslam Musliya Vs. The State of Maharashtra and others), dealt with by the Division Bench of this High Court and reported in 1997 ALL MR (Cri.) 1782 in para 11, it has been relied on, to substantiate the contention forwarded on behalf of the respondent, as follows :-
"We take up the last ground which has been pleaded by Mr. Suleman in para 4(v) namely, that the documents at pages 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 72, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82 and 83 of the compilation are, illegible and consequently the detenu was hampered in exercise of his right of making a effective representation conferred on him by Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India. We have perused the said documents. We have no hesitation in observing that none of them are material documents. The law is that if material documents i.e. documents which have a bearing on the detenus right of making a representation are illegible, would his right in making an effective representation under Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India being infringed. The said documents do not stand in that category."
We feel constrained to point out that some of the documents which have been castigated in the said grounds as being illegible were found by us to be legible when we perused them.
For the said reasons, we find no merit in this submission of Mr. Suleman."
20. In the light of the above legal ratios, if we consider the contention canvassed on behalf of the petitioner, as projected by the learned Counsel for the petitioner, we are constrained to hold that the 7 copies of the documents supplied to the petitioner have been chosen to substantiate the first ground. Among the same the first comes to page No. 45 of the compilation, is the letter of Senior Inspector of Police of Ghatkopar Police Station dated 18-8-1997 to the Sr. Manager, Ghatkopar Telephone Exchange and the second one is at page No. 175-176, the remand application dated 29-8-1997 and the third is at pages 187-188 and fourth is at page 193-194 and the fifth is at page 203-204 all remand applications dated 8-9-1997, 17-9-1997 and 22-9-1997. The sixth one among them is at page 209-211 is the copy of bail application of the petitioner dated 17-9-1997 and the last one is at pages 217-219 is the copy of letter of Senior Police Inspector dated 22-9-1997 to the learned Magistrate, 31st Court, Vikhroli, Bombay. In the first document referred to above, according to Mr. Tripathi, about 6 lines of the letter and many words in the letter are not legible. In the second document, the title of the Court addressed, two paragraphs of the application and the judicial order passed thereon are totally illegible and the third one depicts many lines and many words and the bail applications are illegible. In fourth and fifth document many lines and words of the application are illegible and the judicial order are also not legible. In the last two documents many lines were found illegible. If we consider the apex of the above documents, as pointed out by the learned Counsel, we found with great constraint, that they are not very important documents to formulate the grounds of detention. Of course it is true that certain words or one or two sentences are faded away, but in view of the factual matrix, on one or two lines or the title and some words of the documents do not deserve to go to the root of the matter. On a meticulous perusal of the said pages as listed out by the learned Counsel Shri Tripathi, we are totally unable to agree with his contention that the above said pages are totally illegible and that therefore it would cast any impairmenent of the rights of the detenu by Article 22(5) of the Constitution.
"We have considered the matter ourselves. We are also not impressed with this submission. The alleged difference between the two versions is not consequential. The order of detention and grounds accompanied clearly spelt out why the detenu was being detained. We are not persuaded to hold that the two versions are so different as to cause any prejudice to the detenu. We therefore agree with the High Court and dismiss the appeal."
22. Having gone to the very first contention made by the learned Counsel for the petitioner with regard to the improbability of the pages of the copies of the documents above referred, we do satisfy that the said defect is only a technical one and do not provide any importance on the basis of which the detaining authority has not relied upon to formulate his subjective satisfaction in claiming the order of detention against the detenu and that therefore they are not very vital document so as to look the communication as contemplated under Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India. In the above said reasoning we are unable to accept in any way the particular contention made by the learned counsel Mr. Tripathi on this aspect. Hence we reject the first contention, as the same has no merit at all.
23. Coming to the second contention namely the wrong translation of the documents supplied to the detenu, the learned Counsel Shri Tripathi appearing for the petitioner mainly relies upon the paragraphs 5 and 6 of the grounds of detention in para 6 of the compilation. This is given in English language, appears to have been translated in Hindi version, as evident from the copies of the documents supplied to him. Paragraphs 5 and 6 of the detention order found in English version of the original order of detention pertains to the subjective satisfaction arrived at by the detaining authority that the detenu is a dangerous person within the meaning of section 2(b)(i) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, 1981 (Amendment 1996) and that he was also a weapon wielding desperado and thereby became perpetual and potential danger to the society at large and that he has created a terror in the localities and areas in question within the jurisdiction of Ghatkopar Police Station in Brihan Mumbai. The people in the said localities and areas are experiencing a sense of insecurity and are living and carrying out their daily routine under constant shadow of fear whereby the even tempo of life of society is disturbed. Thus his activities are prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in the said localities and areas in question in Brihan Mumbai.
24. Para 6 of the English version shows that the detaining authority has gone through the material placed before him very carefully and he was subjectively satisfied that the detenu was acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and that in view of his tendencies and inclination reflected in the offences committed by him. He was satisfied further that after having availed of the bail facilities and becoming a free person, the detenu is likely to revert to the similar activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in future and that it was necessary to detain him under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, 1981 (Amendment 1996) to prevent him from acting in such a prejudicial manner in future.
25. The above two paragraphs appear to have been translated in Hindi language and the copies of the same were supplied to the detenu which was relied upon by the learned Counsel for the petitioner to say that the Hindi version do not contain certain words which goes to the root of the matter and that therefore he was put to every prejudice and rendered himself unable to make the effective and adequate representation before the authority in question, which also comes under Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India. On the contra Shri Rajiv Patil the learned Counsel appearing for the respondent has contended that it was a fact that the detenu himself has studied upto 10th standard in English medium school and he was well versed in English language to read and write, and that as such since he hailed from Uttar Pradesh, one of the State in which the vernacular language was Hindi, some documents in Marathi and English were translated and the copies of the same were furnished to the detenu on the safer side and that the said translated copies in Hindi though may not contain the actual words, the translated Hindi version copies carried the same meaning as the English version of the detention order in original, as passed and that therefore the learned Addl. P.P. contended that the petitioner's Counsel cannot take advantage of the same and thereby contended that there was a infraction of Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India in this regard.
26. In this regard it has become necessary for us to quote the legal principles laid down by the Supreme Court held in (Binod Bihari Mahato Vs. State of Bihar and others), A.I.R. 1974 S.C. page 2125 and the relevant portion is at page 2128 para 2, which are stated as hereunder :-
"The first ground on which the validity of his detention was challenged on behalf of the Petitioner was that the English version of the grounds of detention recited that the District Magistrate was satisfied that if the petitioner was allowed to remain at large he would indulge in activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or security of the State. This recital showed that the District Magistrate did not apply his mind with any seriousness either to the acts alleged in the grounds of detention against the petitioner or to the question whether they fall within the purview of the expression "the maintenance of public order" or "the security of the State" or both and that was sufficient to vitiate the order of detention. Now, there can be no doubt in view of the decisions of this Court in (Kishori Mohan Vs. State of West Bengal), A.I.R. 1972 S.C. 1794 and (Akshoy Konai Vs. State of West Bengal), A.I.R. 1973 S.C. 300 :1949 Cri. L.J. 405 that if the order of detention purports to be based on the satisfaction of the detaining authority that it is necessary to detain the petitioner with a view to preventing him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or security of the State, it would clearly be an invalid order. The satisfaction of the detaining authority in such a case would be on the disjunctive and not conjunctive grounds and that would mean that the detaining authority was not certain, whether it had reached its subjective satisfaction as to the necessity of exercising the power of detention on the ground of danger to public order or danger to the security of the State. If the detaining authority felt that it was necessary to detain the petitioner on the ground that his activities affected or were likely to affect both public order and the security of the State it would use the conjunctive 'and' and not the disjunctive 'or' in reciting its satisfaction. Where, however, the disjunctive or is used instead of the conjunctive and it would mean that the detaining authority was either not certain whether the alleged activities of the petitioner endangered public order or the security of the state or it did not seriously apply its mind to the question whether such activities fell under one head or the other and merely reproduced mechanically the language of section 3(1)(a)(ii). When such equivocal language is used and the detenu is not told whether his alleged activities set out in the grounds of detention fell under one head of the other or both, it would be difficult for him to make an adequate representation against the order of detention. If, therefore, it appears in the present case that the order of detention made by the District Magistrate was based on the satisfaction that it was necessary to detain the petitioner with a view to preventing him from carrying on activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or the security of the State, it would have to be struck down as invalid. But we do not find that there is any such infirmity in the order of detention. Whether we look at the Hindi version or the English version, the satisfaction which is recited in the order of detention and on which the order of detention is manifestly and avowedly based, is that it is necessary to detain the petitioner with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. There is no defence to the security of the State in the recital of the satisfaction contained in the order of detention. The District Magistrate was satisfied that it was necessary to detain the petitioner only on the ground that his activities were prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and it was on the basis of this satisfaction that he made the order of detention. The Hindi version of the grounds of detention also reiterated the satisfaction of the District Magistrate based on the same ground, namely that the petitioner, if allowed to remain at large, would indulge in activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. The recital of the satisfaction in the Hindi version of the grounds of detention did not make any reference to danger to the security of the State by reason of the activities of the petitioner. It is only in the English version of the grounds of the detention that we find the words "security of the State" added on the recital of the satisfaction of the District Magistrate. That is obviously the result of inadvertence and no argument can be founded upon it. In the first place, Hindi being the official language of the State, it is the Hindi version of the grounds of detention which must be regarded as authentic and the validity of the detention must be judged with reference to the Hindi version of the grounds of detention and not the English version. Secondly, even if we confine ourselves to the English version of the grounds of detention, it is clear that at the end of each of the grounds it is stated in so many words that the acts of the petitioner were prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and there is no reference there to prejudice to the security of the State and it is only in the conclusion based on these acts that we find a recital of the satisfaction that if the petitioner is allowed to remain at large, he would indulge in activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or the security of the State. The words "or the Security of the State" are obviously incongruous in the context. They do not fit in with the conclusion drawn at the end of each of the grounds which is confined only to the maintenance of public order and nothing more. There can be no doubt that these words have crept in the English version of the grounds of detention through some mistake. We cannot invalidate the order of detention on the basis of such an obvious error ignoring the order of detention in both its Hindi and English versions, the Hindi version of the grounds of detention and the totality of the context so far as the English version is concerned."
27. In yet another case held between (Nandkumar alias Nandu Vs. S. Ramamurthi, Commissioner of Police, Greater Bombay and others), 1992 Cri. L.J. 1078, a Division Bench of this Court has held in paragraph 18 as follows :-
"It is, therefore, contended on behalf of the petitioner that when the incorrect translated copies were supplied to the detenu, there is a failure on the part of the detaining authority to comply with the provisions of the Act and on this ground alone the impugned order of detention is liable to be struck down. However, we cannot agree with Mr. Tripathy. It is true that in the above case the Supreme Court has observed that in the matter of preventive detention, the test is not one of prejudice, but one of the strict compliance with the provisions of the Act. However, these observations are to be understood in the facts and circumstances of that case and we have already pointed out in the earlier part of this judgment the facts of the case. In that case the detenu was knowing only one language i.e. Ladakhi. However, the documents relied upon by the detaining authority were translated in Tibetan language and supplied to the detenu. The Supreme Court, therefore, held in that case that the requirement of the law is that the detenu has to be informed about the grounds of detention in the language which he understands and since the detaining authority failed to supply the translations of the documents in Ladakhi language to the detenu there was non-compliance of the provisions of the Act. There is no dispute that the detaining authority has to supply the grounds of detention and the material relied upon in the grounds of detention in the language known to the detenu and if there is failure on the part of the detaining authority to supply the translations of the documents in the language known to the detenu, the detention order is bound to be vitiated as the same is passed in violation of the provisions of Art. 22(5) of the Constitution of India. In that case Addl. Solicitor General on behalf of the Union of India contended that though the petitioner was not knowing Tibetan language, his wife was conversant with English and Tibetan language and, therefore, no prejudice was caused to the petitioner of making an effective representation against his detention. It was in this context that the Supreme Court observed that in the matter of preventive detention, the test is not one of prejudice, but one of strict compliance with the provisions of the Act. In our opinion, therefore, that case is clearly distinguishable from the facts and circumstances of the present case. In the case before us it is not the grievance of the petitioner that he was not supplied with the copies of the documents or the grounds of detention in the language known to him, but it is the case of the petitioner that there are certain discrepancies between the contents of the documents and their translated copies in Marathi which were relied upon by the detaining authority. Therefore, in order to see whether such discrepancies in those five documents amount to non-compliance of the provisions of the Act one has to apply the test as to whether in the circumstances of this case these discrepancies have in any way prejudicially affected the right of the petitioner to make an effective representation against his detention. We have already pointed out above that the Supreme Court in the last para of its judgment in Prakash Chandra Mehta, 1986 Cri. L.J. 786 concluded that in the facts and circumstances of that case the procedural safeguards have been complied with as far as practicable and, therefore, we have to see whether these discrepancies in these five documents pointed out by the learned Counsel on behalf of the petitioner are such that the could (sic) Court should come to the conclusion that the respondents failed to observe the procedural safeguards in the present case."
28. Taking an over all view of the matter in the instant case and having meticulously perused the original detention order and the connected records found in English and the translated version as pointed out by the learned Counsel and the learned Addl. P.P., we are not impressed by the contentions made by Shri Tripathi the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner that there was a wrong translation order in any respect and we are constrained to hold the said contention, has no basis in as much was the translated version of the copies of the detention order carries the same substantial meaning of the original English version of the detention order, it is not desirable to hold that there was a wrong translation of the original document or the detention order in any respect. Therefore, we reject the second contention.
29. Coming to the third contention namely ground No. "F" of the writ petition, that there was a delay of 3 days in considering the representation made by the detenu would amount to vitiate the impugned order of detention passed in the instant case. We, straight way observe that this ground has no substance at all as was rightly argued by Shri Rajiv Patil the Addl. P.P. for the respondent. The representation was dated 31-12-1997 and forwarded to the Advisory Board and came to be rejected concedingly by the State Government on 2-2-1998. The reply affidavit filed by Shri V. B. Sankhe, at running page 58 in the second paragraph befit the following :-
"It is further submitted that the representation dated the 31-12-1997 from the detenu, addressed to the Chairman, Advisory Board, constituted under M.P.D.A. 1981, was considered by the Advisory Board. The said representation was forwarded by Advisory Board to the State Government alongwith its report on 23-1-1998. The same was received by the State Government on 23-1-1998. As the material was available on record, the representation was scrutinised and was submitted to the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) for his consideration on 31-1-1998. The Additional Chief Secretary (Home) was duly empowered to do so under the Rules of Business of Government of Maharashtra. The Additional Chief Secretary (Home) carefully considered the representation and rejected the same on 31-1-1998. Accordingly a reject reply was given to the detenu vide Government Letter dated 2-2-1998 through the Superintendent, Nasik Central Prison. The same was served on the detenu on 3-2-1998."
30. From the above it is seen that the State Government has received the written representation on 23-1-1998 and after due consideration, rejected the same on 31-1-1998. During the interregnum, there remains between 23-1-1998 and 31-1-1998 is a span of 8 days only inclusive of the receipt of the representation and the rejection. Our perusal of the yearly calendar issued by the High Court would show that 24th, 25th and 26th of January 1998 are the declared holidays and 30-1-1998 was also a public holiday. If the holiday declared as a public holiday for a period of 4 days, there remains only 4 days for consideration of the written representation, which in our view, is not at all a delay and the representation has been duly considered as expeditiously as possible by the authorities of the Government of Maharashtra without any delay and that therefore we do not find any laxity or letharginess on the part of the State Government to consider the representation. We, therefore, find that this ground has no merit at all and accordingly it fails.
31. No other substantial point has been brought before us in canvassing the impugned order of detention, though the learned Counsel for both the sides persuaded us by so many case laws in the instant case to substantiate their cases, but in the factual matrix and conclusion we have arrived at, on a careful consideration and perusal, we do not think that it is desirable for us to refer each and every one of the same for the sake of brevity. Thus, on careful consideration of the entire case records and the contentions raised on behalf of both the parties, we find that there is no merit in the writ petition to be canvassed before us to interfere with the order of detention.
Rule issued already is thus discharged.