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writ of Habeas Corpus = detained him as `goonda’ under Section 2(g) of the Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum-Grabbers Act, 1985 (hereinafter referred to as “the Karnataka Act”) (Act No. 12 of 1985) for a period of 12 months.= the authority has no constitutional duty to consider the representation made by the detenu before the order of confirmation of the detention order. =On going through the factual details, various materials in the grounds of detention in view of continuous activities of the detenu attracting the provisions of IPC, continuous and habituality in pursuing the same type of offences indulging in committing offences like attempt to murder, dacoity, rioting, assault, damaging public property, provoking the public, attempt to grab the property of members of the public, extortion while settling land dispute, possessing illegal weapons and also of the fact that all the procedures and statutory safeguards have been fully complied with by the Detaining Authority, we agree with the reasoning of the Detaining Authority as approved by the Government and upheld by the High Court.

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 REPORTABLE 

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1814 OF 2011

(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 3913 of 2011)

D.M. Nagaraja .... Appellant(s)

 Versus

The Government of Karnataka & Ors. .... Respondent(s)

 J U D G M E N T

P.Sathasivam,J.

1) Leave granted.

2) The appellant has filed this appeal against the final 

judgment and order dated 28.03.2011 passed by the High 

Court of Karnataka at Bangalore in a writ of Habeas Corpus 

being Writ Petition No. 220 of 2010 whereby the High Court 

dismissed the writ petition filed against the order of detention 

dated 22.09.2010 passed by the Commissioner of Police, 

Bangalore City, vide CRM(4)/DTN/10/2010. 

 1

3) Brief facts:

(a) According to the Detaining Authority, the appellant-

detenue, when he was 30 years old, started his career in 

criminal field by committing offences like murder, attempt to 

murder, dacoity, rioting, assault, damaging the public 

property, provoking the public, attempt to grab the property of 

the public, extortion while settling land disputes and 

possessing of illegal weapons etc. 

(b) By the date of the detention order, i.e. on 22.09.2010, 

eleven cases had been filed against the detenue and out of 

them, four cases were pending trial before the respective 

Courts and records have been destroyed as time barred in four 

cases. In two cases, he has been acquitted. In pending cases, 

he was granted bail from the courts and in one case he has 

been convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous 

imprisonment for a term of nine years by the Sessions Court, 

Bangalore. The detention order further shows that because of 

his habituality in committing crimes, violating public order by 

threatening the public, causing injuries to them and damaging 

their properties and he was not amenable and controllable by 

 2

the normal procedure, detained him as `goonda' under Section 

2(g) of the Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of 

Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral 

Traffic Offenders and Slum-Grabbers Act, 1985 (hereinafter 

referred to as "the Karnataka Act") (Act No. 12 of 1985) for a 

period of 12 months.

(c) The appellant himself challenged the detention order 

before the High Court of Karanataka by filing a writ of Habeas 

Corpus. Before the High Court, the only contention put-forth 

by the appellant was that there was enormous delay in 

considering his representation made on 06.10.2010 to the 

Advisory Board for withdrawal of the detention order. While 

negating the said contention, the Division Bench of the High 

Court has gone into the validity or otherwise of the detention 

order and after finding that the Detaining Authority was fully 

justified in clamping the detention order, dismissed the writ 

petition filed by the appellant-detenue vide order dated 

28.03.2011. The said order is under challenge before us by 

way of special leave petition. 

 3

4) Heard Mr. C.B. Gururaj, learned counsel for the 

appellant-detenue and Ms. Anitha Shenoy, learned counsel for 

the State of Karanataka. 

5) The point for consideration in this appeal is whether the 

Detaining Authority is justified in passing the detention order 

dated 22.09.2010 and the High Court is right in confirming 

the same and dismissing the writ petition filed by the 

appellant?

6) The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Karnataka 

Act No. 12 of 1985 shows that the activities of certain anti-

social elements like bootleggers, drug-offenders, gamblers, 

goondas, immoral traffic offenders and slum grabbers have 

from time to time caused a feeling of insecurity and alarm 

among the public and tempo of life especially in urban areas 

has frequently been disrupted because of such persons. In 

order to ensure that the maintenance of public order in the 

State of Karnataka is not adversely affected by the activities of 

these known anti-social elements, it is considered necessary to 

enact a special legislation. The following provisions of 

Karnataka Act 12 of 1985 are relevant :

 4

 "2. Definitions : - In this Act, unless the context otherwise 

 requires, -

 (a) "acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of 

 public order" means, - 

 (i) .............................................................

 (ii) ............................................................

 (iii) ............................................................

 (iv) In the case of a goonda when he is engaged, or is 

 making preparations for engaging, in any of his 

 activities as a goonda which affect adversely or are 

 likely to affect adversely the maintenance of public 

 order;

 (v) ............................................................

 (vi) ............................................................

 Explanation - For the purpose of this clause, public order 

 shall be deemed to have been affected adversely or shall be 

 deemed likely to be affected adversely inter alia if any of the 

 activities of any of the persons referred to in this clause 

 directly or indirectly, is causing or is calculated to cause any 

 harm, danger or alarm or a feeling of insecurity, among the 

 general public or any section thereof or a grave or 

 widespread danger to life or public health.

 (b) ...............................................................................

 (c) "detention order" means an order made under Section 3;

 (d) "detenue" means a person detained under a detention 

 order;

 (e) ..............................................................................

 (f) ..............................................................................

 (g) "goonda" means a person who either by himself or as a 

 member of or leader of a gang, habitually commits or 

 attempts to commit or abets the commission of offences 

 punishable under Chapter VIII, Chapter XV, Chapter 

 XVI, Chapter XVII or chapter XXII of the Indian Penal 

 Code (Central Act XLV of 1860)"

Section 3 empowers the State Government to detain certain 

persons with a view to prevent them from acting in any 

manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. If the 

 5

Government/Detaining Authority is able to satisfy that a 

person either by himself or in association with other members 

habitually commits or attempts or abets such commission of 

offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in 

short `IPC') and subject to satisfying Section 3 of the 

Karnataka Act No. 12 of 1985, he can be detained in terms of 

the said Act. 

7) The essential concept of preventive detention is that the 

detention of a person is not to punish him for something he 

has done but to prevent him from doing it. Even, as early as 

in 1975, the Constitution Bench of this Court considered the 

procedures to be followed in view of Articles 19 and 21 of the 

Constitution. In Haradhan Saha vs. State of West Bengal 

& Ors. (1975) 3 SCC 198, the Constitution Bench of this 

Court, on going through the order of preventive detention 

under Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 laid down 

various principles which are as follows:-

 ".....First; merely because a detenue is liable to be tried in a 

 criminal court for the commission of a criminal offence or to 

 be proceeded against for preventing him from committing 

 offences dealt with in Chapter VIII of the Code of Criminal 

 Procedure would not by itself debar the Government from 

 taking action for his detention under the Act.

 6

 Second; the fact that the Police arrests a person and later on 

 enlarges him on bail and initiates steps to prosecute him 

 under the Code of Criminal Procedure and even lodges a first 

 information report may be no bar against the District 

 Magistrate issuing an order under the preventive detention.

 Third; where the concerned person is actually in jail custody 

 at the time when an order of detention is passed against him 

 and is not likely to be released for a fair length of time, it 

 may be possible to contend that there could be no 

 satisfaction on the part of the detaining authority as to the 

 likelihood of such a person indulging in activities which 

 would jeopardize the security of the State or the public 

 order.

 Fourth; the mere circumstance that a detention order is 

 passed during the pendency of the prosecution will not 

 violate (sic) the order.

 Fifth; the order of detention is a precautionary measure. It 

 is based on a reasonable prognosis of the future behaviour of 

 a person based on his past conduct in the light of the 

 surrounding circumstances." 

In the light of the above principles, let us test the validity of 

the detention order issued under Act No. 12 of 1985 and as 

affirmed by the High Court.

8) Mr. C.B. Gururaj, learned counsel for the appellant 

raised the only contention that inasmuch as action can be 

taken against the detenue under the ordinary laws, there is no 

need to detain him under Act No. 12 of 1985. In support of 

his contention, he very much relied on the recent decision of 

 7

this Court in Rekha vs. State of Tamil Nadu (2011) 5 SCC 

244. On the other hand, Ms. Anitha Shenoy, learned counsel 

for the State, after taking us through the entire materials, 

various continuous activities of the detenue and several 

orders, submitted that the Detaining Authority is fully justified 

in clamping the order of detention and she also pointed out 

that the decision of the High Court is perfectly in order and 

prayed for dismissal of the appeal. 

9) We have carefully considered the rival contentions and 

perused the grounds of detention order and all the materials 

relied on by the Detaining Authority. 

10) The detention order refers the activities and involvement 

of the appellant-detenue in as many as 11 cases. The details 

of which are mentioned hereunder:

 "1. Sriramapura PS Cr. No. 55/81 under Sections 143, 

 147, 148, 149, 348, 307 IPC : The file in this case has 

 been destroyed as time barred.

 2. Rajajinagar PS Cr. No. 81/81 under Section 324 r/w 

 Section 34 IPC : The file of this case too has been 

 destroyed as time barred.

 3. Sriramapura PS Cr. No. 484/83 under Section 302 

 read with Section 149 IPC : In this case, the detenue is 

 the prime accused. He along with his brother Kitti and other 

 associates committed the offence punishable under Section 

 302 IPC. After trial the detenue was found guilty and was 

 8

convicted to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 9 years. 

However, the records of this case have been destroyed as 

time barred and are not produced. 

4. Srirampuram PS Cr. No. 624/83 under Section 307 

IPC - This record also has been destroyed as time barred.

5. Victoria Hospital PS Cr. No. 75/87 under Sections 

350, 352 and 506(B) IPC : After the detenue's conviction 

in Cr. No. 484/83, he was admitted in Prisoner's ward, 

Victoria Hospital, Bangalore, for treatment. On 19.12.1987 

at about 11.30 a.m., the detenue tried to escape from the 

prisoner's ward but, he was restricted by the official deputed 

for his escort. The detenue got violent and threatened the 

escort saying that he would kill him in 3 days. Thereafter, 

after investigation, charge sheet was filed in CC No. 869/88. 

As the detenue was absconding, he was taken in judicial 

custody in UTP No. 2896. The case is under trial.

6 & 7. Srirampura PS Cr. Nos. 215/87 under Section 302 

read with Sections 149 IPC, under Sections 220/89, 

143, 144, 148, 324, 302 read with 109 IPC : Both these 

case files are destroyed as time barred. However, according 

to rowdy sheet a charge sheet has been filed in the 3rd ACMM 

Court, Bangalore City on 10.06.1987 and the same was 

taken on file in CC No. 3738/87 for trial in Cr. No. 215/87.

8. Sriramapura PS Cr. No. 198/03 under Section 384 

IPC: On 05.08.2003, at about 6.00 a.m. the detenue and his 

associate Ravi extorted Rs.200/- from one Venkatesh 

threatening him with dire consequences and boasting that 

they were rowdies of Rajajinagar and Srirampuram. They 

were arrested on 06.08.2003 and remanded to judicial 

custody. However, this case ended in acquittal as the 

witnesses out of fear did not depose properly in Court 

against them.

9. High Grounds PS Cr. No. 341/04 under Section 302 

IPC : In this case due to prior rivalry with rowdy Rajendra @ 

Bekkina Kannu Rajendra, and also thinking that Rajendra 

was responsible for the death of his younger brother Krishna 

@ Kitti, chased him in public view and assaulted him with 

longs, dagger and other weapons and murdered him. He 

was arrested on 09.11.2004 and remanded to judicial 

 9

 custody. This case ended in acquittal since the witnesses 

 did not depose properly against him out of fear.

 10. Yelahanka New Town PS Cr. No. 186/09 under 

 Sections 143, 147, 148, 120(B), 307, 302 read with 

 Section 149 IPC : In this case also, enmity between Ravi @ 

 Bullet Ravi, Seena, Vasu and the detenue is the cause. 

 Nursing a grudge over past incidents, the detenue has done 

 away with the life of Ravi Raj @ Bullet Raj, Seena and Vasu 

 by assaulting them with sickles. Seena died at the spot, 

 whereas Ravi and Vasu died in the hospital. The detenue 

 was arrested on 28.08.2009 and remanded to judicial 

 custody. He was released on bail on 18.11.2009. A case in 

 S.C. No. 120/10 in this regard is pending trial.

 11. Subramanyanagar PS Cr. No. 32/10 under Sections 

 307, 353, 399, 402 IPC & 3 & 25 of the Arms Act : On 

 06.02.1020 at 6.15 p.m., the detenue and his associates 

 conspired to murder their rival rowdy Break Jagga and were 

 waiting in a case armed with weapons. On receipt of this 

 information Shri M.R. Mudvi, PI, CCB Bangalore City along 

 with police Inspectors and staff conducted raid and tried to 

 arrest them. However, some of them were able to escape. 

 The detenue remained absconding and evaded arrest. Later 

 he obtained bail on 24.03.2010 in the Court of 14th FTC, 

 Bangalore. A charge sheet was filed against him on 

 17.04.2010 which was taken on file in CC No. 17160/10. 

 The case is pending trial." 

11) As rightly pointed out by Ms. Anitha Shenoy, learned 

counsel for the State, the perusal of the records and all the 

above details furnished in the detention order clearly show 

that the appellant-detenue started his career in criminal field 

when he was 30 years old and is now about 60 years. In the 

beginning, he was the follower of notorious rowdies Jairaj and 

Korangu Krishna. Later, he formed his own gang consisting of 

 1

his own younger brother Krishna @ Kitti along with others. 

Krishna @ Kitti met his end in police encounter during 1996 in 

Rajajinagar P.S. Crime No. 125 of 1996 for the offences 

punishable under Sections 141, 143, 147, 148, 302 read with 

Section 149 IPC. The records also indicate that the detenue 

has about 28 associates assisting him in his criminal activities 

and a number of cases are pending against them. The 

detenue has no regard for human life. The cases registered 

against him pertain to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, 

rioting, assault, damage to public property, provoking the 

public, extortion while settling land disputes, possessing 

illegal weapons etc. Though he was sentenced to undergo 

rigorous imprisonment for 9 years, that has not deterred him 

to put a stop to his criminal activities. In fact, from the year 

1981 up to 2010, he has systematically committed these 

criminal activities. 

12) All the abovementioned details which have been correctly 

stated in the detention order clearly show that the appellant is 

not amenable to ordinary course of law. It also shows that 

even after his release on bail from the prison on various 

 1

occasions, he again started indulging in same type of offences, 

particularly, threatening the public life, damaging pubic 

property etc. All these aspects have been meticulously 

considered by the Detaining Authority and after finding that in 

order to maintain public order, since his activities are 

prejudicial to the public, causing harm and danger, the 

Detaining Authority detained him as `goonda' under the 

Karnataka Act No. 12 of 1985 for a period of 12 months and 

the same was rightly approved by the Advisory Board and the 

State Government. Inasmuch as the Detaining Authority has 

taken note of all the relevant materials and strictly followed all 

the safeguards as provided in the Act ensuring the liberty of 

the detenue, we are in entire agreement with the decision of 

the Detaining Authority as well as the impugned order of the 

High Court affirming the same.

13) Learned counsel for the appellant very much relied on a 

recent decision of this Court in Rekha (supra). In the above 

case, against the detention order dated 08.04.2010 imposed 

on Ramakrishnan under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of 

Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest 

 1

Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Sand 

Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video Pirates Act, 1982 on the 

allegation that he was selling expired drugs after tampering 

with labels and printing fresh labels showing them as non-

expired drugs, his wife filed a habeas corpus petition before 

the Madras High Court. The said writ petition came to be 

dismissed on 23.12.2010. Hence, wife of the detenue therein, 

approached this Court by way of special leave to appeal. In 

the same judgment, this Court has extracted the detention 

order and the grounds for detaining him under the Tamil Nadu 

Act, 1982. The grounds show that there is reference to one 

incident relating to selling expired drugs and the Detaining 

Authority by pointing out that necessary steps are being taken 

by his relatives to take him out on bail and since in similar 

cases, bails were granted by the courts after lapse of some 

time and if he comes out on bail, he will indulge in further 

activities which will be prejudicial to the maintenance of 

public health and order and recourse to normal criminal law 

would not have the desired effect of effectively preventing him 

from indulging in such activities, on the materials placed and 

 1

after fully satisfying the Detaining Authority has passed an 

order under the Tamil Nadu Act, 1982. In para 7, the Bench 

has pointed out that in the grounds of detention, no details 

have been given about the alleged similar cases in which bail 

was allegedly granted by the court concerned. The grounds 

extracted therein also are bereft of any further details. In 

those circumstances, this Court taking note of various earlier 

decisions came to the conclusion that normal recourse to 

ordinary law would be sufficient and there is no need for 

invocation of the special Act. 

14) In the case on hand, we have already extracted 

criminality, criminal activities starting from the age of 30 and 

details relating to eleven cases mentioned in the grounds of 

detention. It is not in dispute that in one case he has been 

convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 

a term of nine years. He had been acquitted in two cases and 

four cases are pending against him wherein he was granted 

bail by the courts. It is the subjective satisfaction of the 

Detaining Authority that in spite of his continuous activities 

causing threat to maintenance of public order, he was getting 

 1

bail one after another and indulging in the same activities. In 

such circumstances, based on the relevant materials and 

satisfying itself, namely, that it would not be possible to 

control his habituality in continuing the criminal activities by 

resorting to normal procedure, the Detaining Authority passed 

an order detaining him under the Act No. 12 of 1985. In view 

of enormous materials which are available in the grounds of 

detention, such habituality has not been cited in the above 

referred Rekha (supra), we are satisfied that the said decision 

is distinguishable on facts with reference to the case on hand 

and contention based on the same is liable to be rejected. 

15) Though learned counsel for the appellant has not raised 

the objection i.e. delay in disposal of his representation since 

that was the only contention before the High Court, we intend 

to deal with the same. We have already stated that the 

detention order was passed on 22.09.2010 by the 

Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City. The said order was 

approved by the Government on 30.09.2010 and the case was 

sent to Advisory Board on 08.10.2010 and the Board sat on 

04.11.2010. The Government received the report of the 

 1

Advisory Board on 10.11.2010. Confirmation detaining the 

detenu for a period of 12 months was issued on 16.11.2010. 

Representation of the detenu through Central Prison was sent 

on 06.10.2010 i.e. before passing of the confirmation order by 

the Government. This Court in K.M. Abdulla Kunhi & B.L. 

Abdul Khader vs. Union of India & Ors. and State of 

Karnataka & Ors. (1991) 1 SCC 476 (CB) has clearly held 

that the authority has no constitutional duty to consider the 

representation made by the detenu before the order of 

confirmation of the detention order. There is no constitutional 

mandate under Clause (5) of Article 22, much less any 

statutory requirement to consider the representation before 

confirming the order of detention. In other words, the 

competent authority can consider the representation only after 

the order of confirmation and as such the contentions raised 

by the appellant as if there was delay in consideration is 

baseless and liable to be rejected. As pointed out above, the 

counsel for the appellant did not raise any objection as 

regards to the same. 

 1

16) On going through the factual details, various materials in 

the grounds of detention in view of continuous activities of the 

detenu attracting the provisions of IPC, continuous and 

habituality in pursuing the same type of offences indulging in 

committing offences like attempt to murder, dacoity, rioting, 

assault, damaging public property, provoking the public, 

attempt to grab the property of members of the public, 

extortion while settling land dispute, possessing illegal 

weapons and also of the fact that all the procedures and 

statutory safeguards have been fully complied with by the 

Detaining Authority, we agree with the reasoning of the 

Detaining Authority as approved by the Government and 

upheld by the High Court. 

17) Under these circumstances, we find no merit in the 

appeal. Consequently, the same is dismissed. 

 ...........................................J. 

 (P. SATHASIVAM) 

 ...........................................J. 

 (DR. B.S. CHAUHAN) 

NEW DELHI;

 1

SEPTEMBER 19, 2011.  1

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