The Madhya Pradesh High Court has refused to cancel the detention order passed against a Businessman, who is alleged to be a Black Marketeer, accused of selling food grains illegally, which were mainly meant to be distributed among the poor people under the Public Distribution System and he also stored them for the motive of black-marketing.
The Double Judges bench of Justices S.C. Sharma and Shailendra Shukla heard the plea filed by one Neetu Agarwal, wife of Shri Deepak Agarwal, who was aggrieved by the order dated 24/09/2020 passed by District Magistrate, Neemuch, under Section 3(2) of the National Security Act,1980 against Deepak Agarwal.
There were two cases booked against the petitioner’s husband for offences punishable under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The FIR lodged against him says that the accused had sold the food grains illegally which were meant for distribution among the poor which comes under the Public Distribution System and kept the food grains for black-marketing.
The Report was forwarded to the Superintendent of Police by District Magistrate and District Magistrate and they formed an opinion upon the report received, followed by a proper process of law that an order should be passed under the National Security Act, 1980.
When the order was passed on 24/09/2020, the State Government also approved it and passed an order on 03/10/2020 by exercising its power given under Section 3(4) of the National Security Act, 1980.
The Advisory Board was also set up under Section 9 of National Security Act,1980 which confirmed the order on 20/10/2020.
The Petitioner argued that her husband had been granted bail in the two cases filed against him by an order dated 11/09/2020 and another order dated 24/0/2020.
The State, on the other hand, submitted that when during Covid, people are finding so much difficulty in surviving and dying out of hunger, they don’t even have food grains to cook, they are bound to survive only on one meal a day, and where the State Government and Central Government are making efforts to supply food grains under the Public Distribution System to the people who are in urgent need of this basic commodity, some persons like the accused are selling food grains illegally in the black market, that food grains which are meant for the distribution under Public Distribution System.
The Court observed- “ The Accused/ Petitioner is seriously a threat to the public as he illegally sold the food grains which were mainly for the purpose of free distribution under PDS, and that too in the situation of Covid -19 Pandemic and this proves that there is the existence of a ground before the District Magistrate to pass an order under the National security Act,1980.”
The Court dismissed the Writ Petition stating that the District Magistrate had not made any mistake by passing an order under the National Security Act,1980.