Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar and Dr DY Chandrachud JJ., allowed an appeal by setting aside the order of the Manipur High Court.

The present matter dealt with the essence of Section 3(4) of the National Security Act, 1980, specifically the meaning of ‘forthwith’ in the said provision.

The appellant challenged the order of preventive detention as the detaining authority violated the provision of Section 3(4) of the NSA, 1980. He contended that the District Magistrate had failed to report the State Government ‘forthwith’ his report of detention under the said provision of NSA, 1980, as the district magistrate reported it to the government after a lapse of 5 days.

Therefore, on careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Supreme Court found that the report to the state government was sent after 5 days for which no reason was stated causing the order to be vitiated. Supreme Court relied on the case S.K. Salim v State of West Bengal, (1975) 1 SCC 653 for emphasising the interpretation of laws of preventive detention along with the point that the report to be sent under Section 3(4) should not carry any laxity with it in reporting to the Government. The appeal was allowed in the present case for the above-said reasons and the order of the High Court of Manipur was dismissed. [Hetchin Haokip v. State of Manipur,2018 SCC OnLine SC 713, dated 20-07-2018]

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