“Purpose of detention to prevent detenu from indulging in smuggling, undue delay makes detention order Vulenrable: Bombay HC quashes order.”

Division Bench of Justice SS Shinde and MS Karnik heard the criminal writ petition filed by 40-year-old Suresh Jaiswal who was arrested after seizure of electronic goods worth more than Rs 4 crore on 4th September, 2019 under Section 110 of the Customs act, 1962. Under Section 111 of the customs act, 1962, the detention order was passed on 14th February,2020.

An international passenger, named Abhishek Ranpriya arrived at Terminal 3, New Delhi dated 3rd September 2019 from Honkong. Two domestic passengers, named, Bhadresh and the petitioner were traveling from Delhi on the same day. It is doubted that the petitioner and many other passengers are included in Smuggling of mobile phones, laptops, batteries etc.

While quashing an order of detention under the conversation of foreign exchange and prevention of smuggling activities act, the Bombay High Court on Thursday held that the purpose of a detention order issued under the Act is to prevent the detenu from indulging in prejudicial activity like smuggling, it makes it vulnerable. If the grounds for detention is not clear, then the order is quashed on its own. After the petition was filed, the Detaining Authority was satisfied that there is a need to prevent the petitioner from smuggling goods under provisions of Section 3(1) of the COFEPOSA Act.

On the behalf of the Petitioner, Dr Abhinav Chandrachud contended that there is unwarranted delay in passing impugned order of detention by the Detaining Authority. It was submitted that though the petitioner was released on bail by an order on 6th November 6, 2019, the detention order was made on 14th February 2020.

The bench observed that a conspectus of the law laid down by the Apex Court shows that the respondents have to offer satisfactory and reasonable explanation in respect to delay in execution of order of detention.

Finally, the court allowed the petition, quashed and set aside to order of detention.

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