SC raps MP govt over detention of doc under NSA, nixes order | India News – Times of Nation
The doctor, a director of the City Hospital in Jabalpur, was detained on May 12 for three months by state police by invoking the National Security Act (NSA) on the ground that he was allegedly selling fake Remdesivir injections to Covid patients when the pandemic was at its peak. His detention was further extended till November 12. The doctor had challenged his detention before the high court, but it was rejected and he approached the apex court.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, B V Nagarathna, after examining all records, found procedural lapses on part of the government authorities and invalidated the detention order. It said detenues have been granted rights under Article 22(5) which mandates that the authority making the order shall as soon as may be communicate grounds on which the order has been made. The detaining authority shall provide the person detained the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.
‘The delay by the state government in disposing of the representation and by the central and state government in communicating such rejection, strikes at the heart of procedural rights and guarantees granted to the detenu. It is necessary to understand that the law provides for such procedural safeguards to balance the wide powers granted to the executive under the NSA,’ the bench said.
‘The significance of Article 22 is that the representation which has been submitted by the detenu must be disposed of at an early date. The communication of the grounds of detention, as soon as may be, and the affording of the earliest opportunity to submit a representation against the order of detention will have no constitutional significance unless the detaining authority deals with the representation and communicates its decision with expedition,’ the bench said.
In this case, the doctor was detained on May 12 and he submitted a simultaneous representation before the district magistrate, state government and the central government on May 18. The representation was communicated by the district magistrate to the state government and the central government on May 20. It was processed for consideration by the Union home secretary on June 14 and on June 24 his representation was rejected which is alleged to have been communicated by a wireless message. He was not communicated about the outcome.
There was a one-and-a-half-month delay on the part of the central government in considering the representation. The representation made to the state government was also decided after two months.
‘By delaying its decision on the representation, the state government deprived the detenu of the valuable right which emanates from the provisions of Section 8(1) of having the r epresentation being considered expeditiously,’ the bench said.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a timesofindia.indiatimes.com feed.)
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