ADM Jabalpur v Shivkant Shukla

Author: Garima Charan

College: University Five Year Law College,University of Rajasthan.

Title of case -: ADM Jabalpur v Shivkant Shukla

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

Court -: Supreme Court of India

Bench -: A.N. Ray, Hans Raj Khanna, Mirza Hameedullah Beg, Y.V. Chandrachud,

P.N. Bhagwati

Petitioner: Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur

Respondent: S.S. Shukla, etc.

Introduction -:

The judgment of the case “ADM Jabalpur v Shivkant Shukla” was delivered on 28 April 1976. This case arouse at the time of emergency, when Indira Gandhi issued a presidential notification because court declared her prime ministerial election as illegal. It was arisen in that case that whether a person has a right to approach the High Court or not when his Fundamental Rights specially article 14, 21 and 22 during emergency. The result that came was very harsh as it was ruled by the court that a person’s right to approach High court under Article 226 for writ of Habeas Corpus or any other writ at the time of proclamation of emergency will remain suspended. This vase is also called habeas corpus case.

Facts -:

On 25th June, 1975, the President, by exercising his powers under Article 352(1) of Indian Constitution, declared emergency stating that security of India is threatened by the internal disturbances. On 27th June 1975, by exercising his powers under Article 359 of the Constitution, he declared that the right of any person including the foreigners to move any court to enforce their rights which have been granted to them under Article 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution will remain suspended during the period of proclamation of emergency. On 8th January1976, the President passed a notification declaring that right of any person to move to any court in order to enforce the rights which have been granted to them under Article 19 of the Constitution will remain suspended during the period of proclamation of emergency. Because of that several illegal detentions were made including leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani. Against these orders many appeals were filed under the Supreme Court.


The issue was, whether a writ petition can be filed or not under Article 226 of the Constitution before the High Court to enforce the Fundamental Rights during the period of proclamation of emergency.



The State does not release any detainees because there was no sufficient reason for his arrest and, therefore, continued to detain him in violation of the provisions of Article 22. The right to appeal to a court for the purpose of enforcing a right under Article 19 has now been suspended by the President pursuant to an order made under Article 359(1). The suspension of the right of a person to transfer a court for the purposes of the application of the right to life and liberty is exercised in accordance with a constitutional provision and, therefore, it cannot be said that the result means the law. state of the line.


It was contended by the respondents that the purpose of Article 359(1) is to remove the restrictions on the powers of the legislatures so that at the time of emergency it is free to violate the fundamental rights of the citizens which have been granted to them by the Constitution of India. It was further argued that there is an act called Maintenance of Internal Security Act 1971 which is there in force in order to govern pre-trial detentions. Therefore, Article 21 cannot be considered as the sole depository of the right to life and personal liberty.

They argued that the Non-Fundamental rights which have been derived from the Articles 256, 265 and 361 (3), neither the natural or contractual rights and nor the legal rights to personal liberty are unaffected by the Presidential order. These rights can be only taken away by the statute and not by the Executive Department.

It was argued that state and its officers have right to arrest only if the detention fall under Section 3 of the MISA Act and also the conditions provided under the said section were fulfilled. However, if any condition is unfulfilled then the detention will be considered “beyond the powers of the Act”.


The judgment was delivered in the ration of 4:1, A.N. Ray, Mirza Hameedullah Beg, Y.V. Chandrachud, P.N. Bhagwati were in favour whereas the H.R. Khanna J. was for the descent. The four judges were of the opinion that during the time of emergency if any action is taken by the government whether it is arbitrary or illegal, its actions cannot be questioned.

The ADM Jabalpur case was overturned by the SC in the landmark Puttaswamy Case (Right to Privacy case) in 2017.

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