Maintenance of Internal Security Act 1971 [MISA]

An Act to provide for detention in certain cases for the purpose of maintenance of internal security and matters connected therewith

Maintenance of internal security act-1971


Every person in respect of whom a detention order has been made shall be liable- to be detained in such place and under such conditions, including conditions as to maintenance, discipline and punishment for breaches of discipline, as the appropriate Government may, by general or special order, specify.

When a person is detained in pursuance of a detention order, the authority making the order shall, as soon as may be, but ordinarily not later than five days and in exceptional circumstances and for reasons to be recorded in writing, not later than fifteen days, from the date of detention communicate to him the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order to the appropriate Government.

The maximum period for which any person may be detained in pursuance of any detention order which has been confirmed under Section 12 shall be twelve months from the date of detention. The question whether the detention of any person in respect of whom a declaration has been made under sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) continues to be necessary for effectively dealing with the emergency shall be reconsidered by the appropriate Government within four months from the date of such declaration and thereafter at intervals not exceeding four months, and if, on such reconsideration, it appears to the appropriate Government that the detention of the person is no longer necessary for effectively dealing with the emergency, that Government may revoke the declaration.

[Repealed by Act 27 of 1978]

Detention under Misa

Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971

This view was reaffirmed in Nagendra Nath Mondal v. The State of West Bengal, AIR 1972 SC 665, Sudhir Kumar Saha v. Commr. of Police Calcutta, (1970) 3 SCR 360 ; Sk. Kader v. The State of West Bengal, AIR 1972 SC 1647, Kanu Biswas v. State of West Bengal, AIR 1972 SC 1656, Kishori Mohan v. State of West Bengal, AIR 1972 SC 1749 and Amiya Kumar Karmarkar v. State of West Bengal, W. P. 190 of 1972, D/- 31-7-1972[1].

8. Ground no. 1 in the case before us merely mentions murderous assault by merely mentions murderous assault by the petitioner on Balo Das Gupta. It shows neither the nature of the weapon used nor the nature or extent of the injuries inflicted, nor does it disclose as to how long after the assault the injured person died. The motive for the purpose of the assault is also not stated. This kind of a solitary assault on one individual, which may well be equated with an ordinary murder which is not an uncommon occurrence, can hardly be said to disturb public peace or place public order in jeopardy, so as to bring the case within the purview of the Act. It can only raise a law and order problem and no more; its impact on the society as a whole cannot be considered to be so extensive, widespread and forceful as to disturb the normal life of the community thereby rudely shaking the balanced tempo of the orderly life of the general public. This ground is, therefore, not at all relevant for sustaining the order of detention for preventing the petitioner from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. Ground no. 2, however, is quite germane to the problem of maintenance of public order. But the question arises whether in the absence of ground no. 1 which, in our view, is wholly irrelevant, the detaining authority would have felt satisfied on the basis of the solitary ground no. 2 alone to make the impugned order. Can it be said that ground no. 1 is of a comparatively unessential nature so as not to have meaningfully influenced the decision of the detaining authority. Similar problem has faced this Court on a number of occasioned and the decision has generally gone in favour of the detenu. This Court in Dr. Ram Krishan Bharadwaj v. The State of Delhi, (1953) SCR 708 laid down that the requirement that the grounds must not be vague must be satisfied with respect to each of the grounds. In Dwarka Das Bhatia v. The State of Jammu and Kashmir, (1956) SCR 948 the principles deduced from the earlier decisions of this Court and also from the decision of the Federal Court in Keshav Talpade v. The King Emerior, 1943 FCR 88 was stated thus:

“Where power is vested in a statutory authority to deprive the liberty of a subject on its subjective satisfaction with reference to specified matters, if that satisfaction is stated to be based on a number of grounds or for a variety of reasons, all taken together, and if some out of them are found to be non-existent or irrelevant, the very exercise of that power is bad. That is so because the matter being one for subjective satisfaction, it must be properly based on all the reasons on which it purports to be based. If some out of them are found to be non-existent or irrelevant, the Court cannot predicate what the subjective satisfaction of the said authority would have been on the exclusion of those grounds or reasons. To uphold the validity of such an order in spite of the invalidity of some of the reasons or grounds would be to substitute the objective standards of the Court for the subjective satisfaction of the statutory authority. In applying these principles however the Court must be satisfied that the vague or irrelevant grounds are such as, if excluded, might reasonably have affected the subjective satisfaction of the appropriate authority. It is not merely because some ground or reason of a comparatively unessential nature is defective that such an order based on subjective satisfaction can be held to be invalid. The Court while anxious to safeguard the personal liberty of the individual will not lightly interfere with such orders. It is in the light of these principles that the validity of the impugned order has to be judged.” In Rameshwar Lal v. State of Bihar, (1968) 2 SCR 505 it was observed:

“Since the detenu is not placed before a Magistrate and has only a right of being supplied the grounds of detention with a view to his making a representation to the Advisory Board the grounds must not be vague or indefinite and must afford a real opportunity to make a representation against the detention. Similarly, if a vital ground is shown to be non-existing so that it could not have and ought not to have played a part in the material for consideration, the Court may attach some importance to this fact” In Motilal Jain v. State of Bihar, (1968) 3 SCR 587 , a decision by a Bench of six Judges. after reviewing the earlier decisions, this Court expressed its view thus:

“The defects noticed in the two grounds mentioned above are sufficient to vitiate the order of detention impugned in these proceedings as it is not possible to hold that those grounds could not have influenced the decision of the detaining authority. Individual liberty is a cherished right, one of the most valuable fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution to the citizens of this country. If that right is invaded, excepting strictly in accordance with law, the aggrieved party is entitled tod appeal to the judicial power of the State for relief. We are not unaware of the fact that the interest of the society is no less important than that of the individual. Our Constitution has made provision for safeguarding the interests of the society. Its provisions harmonise the liberty of the individual with social interests. The authorities have to act solely on the basis of those provisions. They cannot deal with the liberty of the individual in a casual manner, as has been done in this case. Such an approachd does not advance the true social interest. Continued indifference to individual liberty is bound to errode the structure of our democratic society.” [ AIR 1973 SC 295 : (1973) 2 SCR 842 : (1973) 3 SCC 663 : (1974) CriLJ SC 401 (SUPREME COURT OF INDIA) Manu Bhusan Roy Prodhan  Versus State of West Bengal and others ]

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