Madras HC sets aside detention of under-trial under Goondas Act
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 00:10
Chennai: The Madras High Court set aside an order of detention under the Goondas Act of a person whose age was initially recorded as 15 by authorities before he was recorded as a 21-year-old in another case the very next year.

In a recent ruling, a Division Bench comprising Justices C Nagappan and P R Shivakumar passed the order while allowing a Habeas Corpus petition by Chithirakumar seeking to quash an order of the District Collector, Thanjavur, of November 11 last year detaining him under the Goondas Act.

Chithirakumar prayed for a direction that he be produced before the court and set at liberty. During the course of the argument, N Duraisamy, the counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the detaining authority had mentioned the detenu’s age as 21 in 2010 whereas in a remand report in an adverse case registered by the Kabisthalam police station, the age had been mentioned as 15 in 2009.

Arguing there "there was material contradiction", Duraisamy said the detaining authority ought to have called for a clarification from the sponsoring authority, but had failed to do so.

It was also submitted that the detenu was an under-trial prisoner in all the adverse cases and the main case ground case. It was not known according to which order he was remanded to the Borstal School (meant for adoloscent offenders), Duraisamy argued.

The Bench said that in the detention order, the detaining authority has observed that Chithirakumar was aged 21 in 2010. However, in a copy of the remand report in the case registered by the Kabisthalam police station, the investigation officer had noted Chithirakumar's age as 15 in 2009, the court said.

Within that time (a one year gap), Chithirakumar could not have attained the age of 21. In any event, the detaining authority had failed to seek clarification in this regard. The detention order was vitiated?, the court ruled.

The Bench further observed, “We are also at a loss to understand as to the necessity to clamp an order of detention directing the person to be detained in a Borstal School in Pudukottai. For the abovesaid reasons, the order of detention is liable to be set aside.”


First Published: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 00:10

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