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Orders, Validity (Federal Court Judgment)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 13 May 1943

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29.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he has any statement to make respecting the recent decision that Congress leaders and members had been illegally imprisoned since their arrest; whether legislative action has now legalised this irregularity; and what redress or compensation is being made to those who for several months have been illegally deprived of their liberty?

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. Graham White) on 4th May. In view of the Ordinance made by the Governor-General confirming the validity of orders previously made under Defence of India Rule 26, no question of redress or compensation arises.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is extremely grave to keep men in detention for nine months or more, and would it not be some compensation at least to release them for nine months as an equivalent?

Will the right hon. Gentleman take this matter into consideration again, in view of the case around about 1923 when natives of Ireland were similarly treated and all received compensation for illegal detention?

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the Government of India really have the power to make retrospectively an illegal imprisonment legal by legislative action?