Intimation of arrest through SMS is invalid: Madras HC
Chennai, May 21, 2023
Asserting that sending an intimation of arrest through SMS would amount to violation of the constitutional safeguard guaranteed to a person, the Madras high court has quashed the detention of an accused under the stringent Goondas Act.
"The right of the detenu to make an effective representation qua the preventive detention order is a constitutional safeguard ingrained in Clause (5) of Article 22 of the Constitution of India. In the light of the narrative thus far, this constitutional safeguard is hampered. The sequitur is the impugned preventive detention order deserves to be dislodged," a division bench of Justice M Sundar and Justice M Nirmal Kumar said.
The issue pertains to a habeas corpus plea moved by Harini seeking to quash the detention order passed by the Avadi police commissioner dated November 30, 2022 and release her husband Ezhilkumar.
According to the petitioner, her husband had been detained under the Goondas Act in connection with a case registered by the Sholavaram police for offences including dacoity. The primary objection of the petitioner was that the arrest of her husband was intimated to her through an SMS sent to her mobile phone number without any supporting material.
Opposing the plea, the prosecution submitted that the petitioner was informed about the arrest of her husband on the details provided by him. It further submitted that the petitioner had not made any representation in this regard and that such a contention is being put forth for the first time.
Recording the submissions, the bench said, "In this case, the arrest intimation is through Short Message Service (SMS). The reason given is not acceptable, proper intimation has to be given to the detenu and the detenu must know the reason for his arrest."
The court then allowed the plea and directed the authorities to release the petitionert's husband.
[The Times of India]