By LE Desk
New Delhi, April 14: The Delhi High Court has ordered the release of a man from ‘Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre’ Narela, Lampur Village, observing that he has been detained without any legal cause, occasion, or justification.
“In view of the facts and circumstances elaborated hereinabove, it can clearly and unequivocally be held that man is being detained by the official respondents without any legal cause, occasion or justification; and in gross violation of the procedure established by law,” the court said.
With these observations, a Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani has allowed habeas corpus filed by a woman seeking to release his husband from ‘Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre’ Narela, Lampur Village in Delhi, The New Indian Express reported.
However, in view of the submissions made on behalf of official respondents, the Court directed the man to participate in any proceedings that may be instituted by the official respondents under the Foreigners Act or otherwise, in accordance with the law, if and when required.
The Court asked the man to provide the proof of residential address stated before this court to the SHO of the concerned police station forthwith.
The Court also asked him to give the undertaking to appear before the competent authority as and when a show-cause notice is received by him from the official respondents, in accordance with the law.
The Court noted that the man holds a valid Indian Passport issued by the competent authority in Kolkata and also holds a valid voter ID card issued by the Election Commission of India.
The Court also noted from the record that prior to remanding him to ‘Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre’ Narela, Lampur Village, Delhi, the official respondents did not issue any show-cause notice to man nor did they afford him an opportunity of being heard in that regard.
“In other words, the official respondents have been unable to establish that man is a foreign national. There is also no quarrel with the factual position that man is not wanted in any other case or that he has other criminal antecedents,” the court said.
Advocates appearing for the petitioner Ajay Verma, Mehak Nakra and the Amicus Curie contended before the Court that the petitioner’s husband has been acquitted under section 14A and 14B of the Foreigners Act, he was convicted only under section 3 of Officials Secret Act and Section 474 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and he has already completed his sentence. Thus liable to be released.
Dayan Krishnan, senior counsel, who was appointed as Amicus Curiae to assist this court in the present matter, submitted that having been acquitted for the commission of offences under sections 14A and 14B of the Foreigners Act, which acquittal has been upheld by the Single Judge of the Delhi High court vide order dated November 7, 2019, the further detention of man at the ‘Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre’ Narela, Lampur Village, Delhi, is without any justification and contrary to the relevant provisions of the Foreigners Act.
The bench order came while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by a woman, seeking the release of her husband, who is alleged to be a Pakistani national, from the Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre at Lampur Village, Delhi.
The petitioner’s husband was arrested on December 13, 2012, and facing trial for years, on October 10, 2016, a trial court convicted him under charges of Official Secrets Acts and others and sentenced him to nine years in jail. The High Court upheld his conviction under the Official Secrets Acts.
After completing his sentence, on April 14, 2020, he was released from jail but send to Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre, Lampur Village in Delhi for the purpose of deportation.
His wife challenged his deportation in the Delhi High Court and sought his release.
The court, however, listed for matter for consideration of the report filed by the Judicial Officer qua the conditions prevalent at Lampur Detention Centre and for further directions to be issued qua the lack of hygiene and proper living conditions at the said centre on May 21.