CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court had quashed the detention of a man under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA), 1974 after recording its displeasure and unhappiness since the case bundles had gone missing since 2010.
The bench of Justice PN Prakash (since retired) and Justice N Anand Venkatesh passed the orders on allowing the petition filed by Madhani Sheik Lafif. The petitioner sought direction to the court to quash the detention order passed by the government in 2009 to detain him under COFEPOSA.
When the matter was taken up for hearing the judges noted that when they assumed the portfolio, they resurrected the case bundles and observed that, "to our shock and surprise, this case has not seen the light of the day from 2010 onwards. Since the bundle had also gone missing, we directed the Registry to reconstruct the bundle and post the same before us for hearing, " the bench opined.
The judges held that under normal circumstances, they would have dismissed the writ petition with a direction to the petitioner to surrender and thereafter, challenge the order of detention.
Since the customs department informed the court that the ground case booked in 2009 against the petitioner was closed in 2017, the bench marked its displeasure and unhappiness and quashed the detention order.