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Plea against detention has to be given immediate attention: SC

Petitioner Kamlesh Tiwari had approached the apex court seeking a direction to the authorities concerned to frame appropriate guidelines for expeditious disposal of habeas corpus petitions.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
August 28, 2016 3:42:29 pm
The petitioner claimed that it was alleged that the press release was published in an evening newspaper. He alleged in his plea that the press release was forged and fabricated and there was no circulation of the daily.

The Supreme Court has said that a habeas corpus plea, relating to legality of arrest, detention or imprisonment of a person, has to be given “immediate attention” and steps should be taken to decide it forthwith. The apex court said this while asking the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court to decide within four weeks the plea by a man, who is the working President of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and has been “detained” for allegedly issuing a press release containing inflammatory language against the Prophet.

“In our view, a habeas corpus petition has to be given immediate attention and steps should be taken to decide it forthwith. We are sure that the High Court shall be alive to the same and dispose of the habeas corpus writ petition within four weeks hence,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan said.

“When we say that it shall be disposed of within four weeks, it means that the matter shall be heard and the judgement shall be delivered within the said period,” the bench said.

Petitioner Kamlesh Tiwari had approached the apex court seeking a direction to the authorities concerned to frame appropriate guidelines for expeditious disposal of habeas corpus petitions.

He claimed in his plea that he has been illegally detained under the National Security Act (NSA) by the Uttar Pradesh Police and had filed a habeas corpus petition before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court in the matter.

He said in his plea that there was an allegation against him that on November 30 last year, he had issued a press release on the letter head of Hindu Mahasabha against the Prophet due to which there was threat to public order and the statement was relied upon by the District Magistrate, Lucknow, for invoking provisions of NSA against him.

The petitioner claimed that it was alleged that the press release was published in an evening newspaper. He alleged in his plea that the press release was forged and fabricated and there was no circulation of the daily.

The petitioner said he was arrested in December last year and was granted bail but on December 9, 2015, the DM passed an order for detaining him under the provisions of the NSA.

He said that in March 2016, he had filed a habeas corpus plea in the High Court challenging the detention order but the petition is still pending adjudication there.

He also sought a direction to release him forthwith till the disposal of his plea pending in the High Court.

While hearing his plea, the apex court said, “We request the High Court to dispose of the writ petition within four weeks from today”.

“Be it noted, we have fixed four weeks as we have been apprised that the matter is listed on August 31, 2016, and the petitioner’s detention period is coming to an end on December 9, 2016,” the bench said.

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