Lex Bona Fide – Law Journal

law journal in India ,Best law journal in India

Habeas Corpus Case – ADM Jabalpur v ShivkantShukla- By Nivethi Natarajan

Title of case: ADM Jabalpur v ShivkantShukla

Citation: 1976 (2) SCC 521; AIR 1976 SC 1207

Court: Supreme Court of India

Bench: A.N. Ray, Hans Raj Khanna, MirzaHameedullah Beg, Y.V. Chandrachud, P.N. Bhagwati


Petitioner: Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur

Respondent: S.S. Shukla, etc.



The case of A.D.M Jabalpur v. ShivkantShukla is one of the important cases throughout the entire existence of the Indian legal system as it is one of those cases that by featuring the current escape clauses, prepared for additional adjustments in the legal system. It is captivating to recall that simultaneously the case is as yet a dark point in the justice system and the courts. The clarification for this is that, in the present circumstance, by thoroughly disregarding the advantages given to an individual upon birth, the courts neglected to address and think about the predicament of the people of India.

The single disagreeing assessment of Justice H. R. Khanna, who was the one in particular who upheld the prevalence of fundamental rights, is usual in this case. Most of the judges held that as long as the emergency proceeds, constitutional rights should stay suspended. Some claim that it was just a specific perusing of the resolution, some state that it was the Center’s misgiving of a really solid government however reality remains that this choice is a stain on the Indian judiciary.


Case Facts-

On 25th June 1975, the President in the exercise of his powers which have been conceded by Article 352(1) of the Indian Constitution stated that there was a grave emergency whereby the security of India is alarmed by the internal disruptions. On 27th June 1975, by practicing the powers that are allowed under Article 359 of the Constitution, it was indicated that the privilege of any individual including the foreigners to move any court for the request to enforce their rights which have been conceded to them under Article 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution and furthermore all the procedures that are forthcoming in the court for the previously mentioned rights will stay suspended during the time of the proclamation of emergency which was made under Article 352 of Indian Constitution.

On 8th January 1976 by exercising the powers conceded under Article 352 of Constitution, the President passed a notice announcing that right of any person to move to any court to authorize the right which has been permitted to them under Article 19 of the Constitution and furthermore all the procedures that are pending in the court for the previously mentioned right will stay suspended during the time of declaration of emergency. Immediately, a few illicit confinements were made including the detainment of some most conspicuous pioneers, for example, Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and L.K. Advani was confined with no charges and preliminary. Because of this numerous writ petitions were filed throughout the country. Nine High Courts gave ruling for the detunes by setting out that regardless of whether the Article 21 can’t be upheld, still, the request for confinement can be difficult as it was not in the consistency of the Act or was mala fide. Besides, against these requests, numerous bids were recorded under the Supreme Court.


Petitioner’s arguments

The State through its direction contended that the inspiration driving emergency powers under the Constitution was to give the executive wide powers whereby it can expect authority over the execution of laws, reason being, the interests of the State acknowledge exceptional centrality during the summon of emergency. The State also struggled that the advantages of individuals to push toward the Court have been decreased under a hallowed course of action for instance Article 359 (1) and thusly, it doesn’t amount to the nonappearance of legality as was fought in various High Court petitions in such manner. The State moreover reminded the court that emergency powers set down in the Constitution were drafted so the monetary and military security of the nation will rule all the other things.

Respondents’ arguments

The respondents communicated that 359 (1) limited the alternative to advance toward the Court under Article 32 anyway such refusal doesn’t impact the necessity of exclusively based law similarly as the lawful advantages of individual opportunity in the High Court under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. In like manner, the Presidential solicitations were generous just to the level of essential rights and didn’t make a difference to Common Law, Natural Law, or Statutory Law. Respondents similarly communicated that the conflict of the competitors that powers of the Executive augmentation as a result of the emergency are significantly lost as the level of the powers of the pioneer is currently given in the Constitution. It was fought that regardless of the way that Article 21 set out the Right of life and individual opportunity as a key right, the said Article isn’t the sole store of this right. The respondents in the like manner requested that the Court consider the way that the Executive accepting power over the capacity of the lawmaking body clashes with the key sacrosanct guidelines that the composers had visualized.

Habeas Corpus Case Judgement

The judgment, for this case, was set near a 5-judge seat containing Justices Ray, Beg, Chandrachud, Bhagwati, and Khanna.

  • The larger part overseeing was explained by four delegated authorities while Justice Khanna passed on a phenomenal fantastic contradiction.
  • The Court held – Given the Presidential request dated 27 June 1975 no individual has any locus standi to move any writ claim under Article 226 under the vigilant gaze of a high court for habeas corpus or another writ or solicitation or bearing to challenge the authenticity of a greeting for confinement on the base that the solicitation isn’t under or in consistence with the Act or is illicit or is vitiated by mala-fide genuine or lawful or depends upon unessential thought.
  • The Court also maintained the sacred legitimacy of Section 16A (9) of MISA.
  • Justice H.R. Khanna in his contest communicated that summoning Article 359(1) doesn’t eliminate the advantage of a person to move toward the Court for the utilization of lawful rights.
  • He added that Article 21 isn’t the sole store of life and individual opportunity.
  • He further communicated that in the pronouncement of crisis. Article 21 just loses the procedural power yet the important force of this content is fundamental and along these lines, the State doesn’t have the ability to keep an individual from getting life and opportunity without the authority of law.
  • There was political load during that particular hearing that this inconsistency cost Justice Khanna his chance of transforming into the appointed authority as he was the second in line to the Chair of CJI around by then.
  • Indeed, even Justice Bhagwati imparted his regret later for accepting the prevailing part by saying that he wasn’t all in all correct to not keep up the reasoning for a solitary opportunity.




The judgment within the Habeas Corpus case has been comprehensively examined for inclining toward the State as against supporting individual opportunity. HM Seervai named the judgment so strange that if Justice Khanna was caught for giving the distinction he wouldn’t have had any answer to secure his opportunity. Immediately after the emergency ended, the Supreme Court changed its situation by giving Article 21 a ceaseless character despite associating the advantage given in Article 21 with the rights given in Articles 14 and 19. The lion’s offer judgment, for this example, is the subject of supporting and abetting the desire of power that the State contraption around then appeared. Commenting on the lion’s offer administering for this model, Justice Venkatachaliah in his Khanna Memorial talk around 2005 communicated that the prevailing part decision inside the Emergency case should be “kept to the dustbin of history” and it’s very hard to manage his assessment.

Submitted By

Nivethi Natarajan


Leave a comment