It is in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution

Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s detention in judicial custody from March 4 was illegal and contrary to the procedure prescribed by law and against the principles of natural justice, argued senior counsel Ram Jethmalani in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Appearing for Mr. Roy before a Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.S. Khehar, he questioned the constitutional validity of the detention order, saying it was passed after an “illusionary” hearing.

He submitted that the impugned order made after “such illusionary hearing was in total defiance of the rules framed under the Constitution and was in gross violation of the principles of natural justice.”

“The Bench without compliance with law and principles of natural justice has incarcerated Mr. Roy under a law which does not exist. The March 4 order is a complete nullity and it is the duty of this court to terminate this unlawful detention and release the petitioner forthwith,” counsel said.

Mr. Jethmalani pointed out that Mr. Roy had not even been named as a party-respondent in the contempt petition as only two Sahara companies, SIRCEL and SHICL, were cited as respondents and notice was issued only to them.

Further, as Mr. Roy had made it clear that he had nothing to do with the management of the two companies, no contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against him.

Senior counsel Aryama Sundaram submitted that the writ petition filed by Mr. Roy was maintainable.

The court was bound to examine whether Mr. Roy's detention was violative of Article 21 or not, he said.

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