The Supreme Court ruled that failure of the Central and the State governments to communicate the rejection of the representation in a time bound manner would vitiate the order of detention under National Security Act (NSA), 1980.
It is alleged that the Police Station of ‘B’ Division in District Morbi of Gujarat seized fake Remdesivir injections from a factory where they were manufactured and an FIR was registered in that regard. The statement under Section 161 of the CrPC of a co-accused by the name of Devesh Chaurasia, who was running a pharmacy in the hospital owned by the appellant, was recorded to the effect that the appellant had procured fake Remdesivir injections without a bill. The appellant is said to have collected the injections through a person named Prakhar Kohli from Indore, who sent the cartons through a transporter called Amba Travels. The fake Remdesivir injections were stated to have been administered to 50 patients at the City Hospital. In his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC, Prakhar Kohli stated that the appellant’s son had asked him to send the fake Remdesivir injections from Indore to Jabalpur. Prakhar Kohli was made to speak to the appellant in that connection. Prakhar Kohli is stated to have sent the fake injections through Amba Travels, and these injections were received at Jabalpur by the co-accused, Devesh Chaurasia, on behalf of the appellant.
Advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing on behalf of the appellant, tendered a tabulated chart reflecting the similarities both in respect of the grounds of detention and the findings which weighed with the Court in allowing the earlier appeal which arose from the judgment of the High Court in the case of Sarabjit Singh Mokha.
The division bench of Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari noted that the appellant was in the pharmaceutical wing of the hospital which was conducted by the appellant in the previous case decided by the Court. Both the AAG and ASG did not dispute the applicability of the earlier judgment of the Court.
The court stated two principles from the earlier judgment which were that (i) the detenue was deprived of the right which emanates from the provisions of Section 8(1) of having the representation being considered expeditiously; and (ii) the failure of the Central and the State governments to communicate the rejection of the representation in a time bound manner would vitiate the order of detention.
The court following the earlier judgment allowed the appeal and set aside the order of detention as well as the consequential extensions which were granted on 8 July 2020 and 30 September 2021.
Case title: Devesh Chourasia v/s The District Magistrate, Jabalpur and Ors.
Citation: Criminal Appeal No 125 of 2022