The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine whether the government violated fundamental right of a citizen by taking Anna Hazare into preventive custody on August 16.
A bench of justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan, however, declined to issue notice to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal for the incident.
The Apex Court passed the direction while posting to September 2 the writ petition filed by J&K Panthers Party chief Professor Bhim Singh.
The Apex Court sought to clarify that it would go into the larger issue as to whether a citizen’s fundamental right is violated and was not confining it to Mr. Hazare.
The bench asked Mr. Singh as to whether he obtained the consent of Mr. Hazare before filing the petition.
“Tomorrow he (Mr. Hazare) may ask as to why you are interfering with my protest,” the bench remarked.
The Apex Court further clarified that it had laid down the law relating to preventive detention under section 107/151 of CrPC.
The writ petition was filed by Mr. Bhim Singh challenging the detention and arrest of Mr. Hazare on August 16 hours before he was to launch his fast against corruption.
Mr. Bhim Singh, in his petition, had sought notices to Mr. Chidambaram and Mr. Sibal besides the Union Home Secretary and the Delhi Police Commissioner.
In his petition, Mr. Bhim Singh has alleged that the Centre and Delhi Police had “acted in a malafide manner” to arrest and detain Mr. Hazare and stifling his fundamental right to free speech and liberty guaranteed under Articles 19, 21 and 22.
He has accused the police of invoking CrPC provisions of 107/151 to detain Mr. Hazare for merely espousing the cause of a strong Jan Lokpal Bill and weeding out corruption from the country.
He urged the court to declare Mr. Hazare’s detention as “unconstitutional” and “violative of his fundamental rights” guaranteed under the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
Mr. Bhim Singh, who had filed the petition at the time of Mr. Hazare’s August 16 arrest, had also sought physical production of the Gandhian through the habeas corpus (production) plea.
But since Mr. Hazare was released by the Government subsequently, the plea for his production has now become infructuous.