This Case is popularly known as Habeas Corpus Case. A Presidential order was issued on 25th June, 1975, by exercising power conferred under Article - 352 (2) of the Indian Constitution, which declared emergency due to internal disturbances. A subsequent Presidential Order was issued on 27th June, 1975, by exercising power conferred under Article – 359 (1) of the Indian Constitution, which barred the people to approach to any court for the enforcement of the rights conferred under Article -14, Article - 21 and Article -22 during the proclamation of emergency. Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) was also enacted under which eminent leaders of the opposition to the Government of the day were kept under detention without the communication of the grounds/reasons for such detention.
The case was decided by the Indian Supreme Court on April 28, 1976, by a bench of five judges, namely,
i. Chief Justice A.N. Ray, along with Justices M.H. Beg, Y.V. Chandrachud and P.N. Bhagwati reached to the same judgement, that the writ of Habeas Corpus is not admissible in the case of proclamation of emergency under Article 359(1) of the Indian Constitution. The court also upheld the constitutional validity of Section 16 A of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). They stated that the court has no jurisdiction or power if the detention is made under sec 16A of the above-mentioned act as it is clearly stated in the act, that the grounds of the detention need not be disclosed. Therefore, the court cannot question the state or the executive body on the detention. Hence the party does not have locus standi to move to any court for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
ii. Justice Khanna had the dissenting opinion. He held that Article – 21 of the Indian Constitution cannot be considered to be the only repository of the right to life and personal liberty. He was of the opinion that when the right to approach any court for the enforcement of rights guaranteed by Article- 21 of the Indian Constitution is suspended, the effect would be on the procedure on the exercise of substantive power to deprive a person of his life or personal liberty. It does not sanction an authority to deprive a person of his life or personal liberty without the existence of such substantive power.
The judgement thus shut the doors of the judiciary for citizens during the emergency.
To read the full judgement, find the enclosed attachment