Madras HC sets aside detention of under-trial under Goondas Act
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
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.”