Breaking News Madhya Pradesh HC rules, no habeas corpus petition...

Madhya Pradesh HC rules, no habeas corpus petition can be entertained in absence of an allegation of illegal confinement

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Bhopal, Oct 5 (ILNS) The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday, ruled that it is not sufficient to seek issuance of a writ of habeas corpus on only an assertion that the corpus has been abducted by some unknown miscreants.

A Single Bench of Justice S. A. Dharmadhikari said that there is no allegation of illegal confinement by any of the private respondents. In the absence of any such contention, no habeas corpus petition can be entertained under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

In this petition, Counsel for the petitioner Chhaya Gurjar submitted that certain miscreants have abducted the sister-in-law of the petitioner namely Aarti, as well as, Aarti’s daughter Kajal from the campus of the High Court.

It is alleged that the respondent-Authorities are having all the information in respect of both of them, but are not providing any information.

It is contended that when mother-in-law of corpus Aarti had come to High Court in connection with some case, the accused persons abducted Aarti and her daughter Kajal.

Thereafter, the mother-in-law of the corpus lodged a missing person report at Police Station University, Gwalior, but to date, no action has been taken on that behalf.

Jitesh Sharma, Government Advocate raised a preliminary objection with regard to the maintainability of the petition contending that the writ of habeas corpus cannot be issued in the matter as there is no allegation that the corpus and her daughter are in illegal confinement of any private respondent.

Government Advocate said that the Petitioner has not impleaded any suspect as a party respondent. Besides, multiple reliefs, which are not at all incongruence, with the subject matter of this petition have been claimed. As such, on this count alone the petition is liable to be rejected at the threshold.

Having heard the counsel for the parties, the question arises that whether on perusal of the pleadings which are on affidavit, it can be seen that there is no allegation of illegal confinement by any of the private respondents, the Court observed.

It is a condition precedent that there must be illegal detention or at least there must be some substantiated grounds regarding suspicion. In the absence of any such contention, no habeas corpus petition can be entertained under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Habeas Corpus is a writ in the nature of an order calling upon the person who has detained another to produce the latter before the Court, in order to let the Court know on what ground he has been confined and to set him free if there is no legal jurisdiction for the imprisonment, the Court said.

The Court further said that the special nature of a habeas corpus petition is to produce the body or person, for that purpose it must be established that a person is in illegal detention. The fundamental right and liberty are to be protected, only if there is an illegal detention, either by State or by a private individual.

The Court held that the writ of habeas corpus is a process by which a person who is confined without legal justification may secure a release from his confinement. The writ is, in form, an order issued by the High Court calling upon the person by whom a person is alleged to be kept in confinement to bring such person before the court and to let the court know on what ground the person is confined.

In the backdrop of the aforesaid legal conspectus on the point in issue, it transpires that the condition precedent for instituting a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus is that the person for whose release, the writ of habeas corpus is sought must be in detention and he must be under detention by the Authorities or by any private individual. Such writ is available only against any person who is suspected of detaining another unlawfully.

In this case, the petitioner has not arrayed any of the suspects as party respondents. The only assertion that the corpus has been abducted by some unknown miscreants, is not sufficient to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Court for issuance of the writ of habeas corpus, which though a writ of right, is not a writ of course.

“Adverting to the multifarious reliefs claimed in the petition, it can easily be discerned that they are completely tangential and incongruous with the subject matter of this habeas corpus petition and cannot be acceded to”, the Court said while dismissing the petition.

“However, this Court comprehends the flummoxed state of the petitioner due to abduction of her sister-in-law and, accordingly, directs the respondents/Police Authorities to bring the investigation pursuant to missing person report lodged by mother-in-law of Aarti, to its logical end, as expeditiously as possible”, the order reads./ILNS/AP/SNG/

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