THE CONTROL OF DISORDERLY AND DANGEROUS PERSONS (GOONDAS) ACT, 1954
(EAST BENGAL ACT NO. IV OF 1954).
[30th July, 1954]
An Act to provide for the better control of riotous and disorderly persons commonly known as goondas residing in or frequenting certain 2[
* * *].
WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for special measures for better control of disorderly persons commonly known as goondas in certain cities and towns and the neighbourhood of those towns and cities and for ancillary matters;]
NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers so assumed, the Governor is pleased hereby to enact as follows:-
3. The Government may, for the purposes of this Act, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute for such area or areas to which this Act may be applied, a Tribunal (hereinafter called the Tribunal) consisting of the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate.]
Powers of Tribunal
4. (1) For the purpose of conducting enquiries under this Act, the Tribunal shall have all the powers of a District Magistrate under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, for issuing summonses and warrants for the production of witnesses and documents, for the examination of persons complained of and witnesses, and for issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.
(2) Proceedings before the Tribunal shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
(3) The Tribunal shall keep its records in 10[
5. The Tribunal shall have the powers of a Court of Record for punishing contempts of its authority provided that the maximum period for which any person may be committed to prison under this provision, shall be three months.
Orders by Tribunal
6. The Tribunal shall not be bound to follow the rules of evidence prescribed under the Evidence Act, 1872, and may inter alia by written order-
(a) direct that the whole or any part of the enquiry against any person complained of shall be held in camera;(b) for reasons to be stated in the order, accept evidence on affidavit of witnesses whose presence cannot be secured without such amount of delay or expense as would in the opinion of the Tribunal be unreasonable in the circumstances of the case, or any other ground sufficient in its opinion and connected with any matter arising in the case;
(c) for reasons to be stated in the order, record the statement of any witness in camera in the absence of the person complained against and his counsel, if the Tribunal is satisfied that the person complained against is deliberately evading appearance;
(d) receive in relation to the person complained of evidence of previous conviction or previous occasions of having been bound over to keep the peace or be of good behaviour;
(e) receive evidence of general repute in relation to the person complained of;
(f) direct any Magistrate having jurisdiction in the area to take such steps as may be necessary to protect the life and property of any person who has given or is required to give evidence in an enquiry under this Act;
(g) grant immunity from prosecution to any witness appearing in any enquiry under this Act, in respect of any matter relevant to the enquiry contained in his evidence; and
(h) direct, with reference to specified portions of the record of the enquiry, that no copies or abstracts shall be made by or furnished to any person including the persons complained of.
Cognizance of cases by Tribunal
7. (1) The Tribunal shall take cognizance of a case only when an information in respect of a specified person is laid before it by a police officer of the area concerned, not below the rank of an Inspector of Police 11[
or Sub-Inspector of Police in charge of Police Station] who has taken part in the investigation of the case. The information shall be signed by the officer concerned and shall briefly set out-
(a) the practices with which the person complained of is charged;
(b) instances, with details of time and place, of such practices;
(c) a statement of any relevant general reputation in which the said person is held and any other ground on which the information is based;
(d) names and other particulars of witnesses who will be produced to support the allegations contained in the information; and
(e) whether the said person is sought to be declared a goonda or a dangerous goonda.
(2) The officer laying the information may, if he thinks fit, enclose any of the above particulars in a sealed cover and request that the same be kept secret and the Tribunal shall order that such particulars shall not be disclosed at any stage of the enquiry, and that when the said particulars fall under clause (d) of sub-section (1) the name of the witness shall not be disclosed until such time as such witness is produced in evidence:
Provided that if the said officer or the person conducting the prosecution before the Tribunal desires that the name of any witness may not be disclosed at all, the Tribunal shall order accordingly.
Summoning of the person complained of
8. On receipt of an information under section 7, the Tribunal shall summon the person complained of to appear before it and shall at the same time supply him with a copy of such portion of the information as is not to be kept secret under the provisions of the preceding section:
Provided that when the Tribunal is satisfied that such action is necessary, it may, in the very first instance or at any later stage of the enquiry, instead of issuing a summons or notice issue a warrant, non-bailable or bailable in such sum as may appear to it reasonable, for the arrest of the aforesaid person and his production before the Tribunal and may also issue such warrant if satisfied that the said person is hiding himself to evade service of the summons or if he does not appear in spite of the service of the summons.
Appearance before Tribunal
9. (1) When the person complained of appears before it, the Tribunal may take a bond from him with or without sureties for his appearance during the enquiry or when called upon, as the case may be, and may also having regard to the nature of the information laid against him, require him to furnish a bond, with one or more sureties, in such sum as the Tribunal may think fit, to be of good behaviour until the conclusion of the enquiry, and may direct that he may be detained in custody until such bond is executed, or in default of execution, until the enquiry is concluded.
(2) The Tribunal may, for reasons to be recorded, instead of taking a bond for the appearance of the person complained of, order his detention in such custody as may be prescribed by the Government by a general or special order till the conclusion of the enquiry by it.
Proceedings before Tribunal
10. The Tribunal shall then proceed to enquire into the truth or otherwise of the information upon which action has been taken, and for that purpose to take such evidence as may appear necessary, following in all cases the procedure prescribed in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 for conducting trials and recording evidence in summary cases, but subject to the other provisions of this Act.
No de novo proceedings
11. It shall not be necessary for the Tribunal to record the evidence of any witness de novo by reason only of a change in its own composition, but the Tribunal may at any time summon and examine any person, who in its opinion, is capable of giving information relevant to any matter under enquiry notwithstanding that such person has already given evidence in such enquiry.
12. Where two or more persons are associated together with regard to any matter covered by the allegations contained in the information respectively laid in respect of each, to an extent which in the opinion of the Tribunal justifies such a course, the enquiry into the matter with regard to which they are associated together may be conducted against all or any of them jointly, or against each of them separately, as the Tribunal shall think just.
Declaration of goondas and dangerous goondas
13. (1) If the Tribunal is satisfied, as a result of enquiry held under this Act, that the person complained against-
(i) frequents for immoral purposes houses or localities inhabited by prostitutes; or
(ii) frequents resorts of vice such as drinking or gambling dens, or places where opium or other intoxicating drugs are smoked or otherwise consumed; or
(iii) generally appears in public while drunk; or
(iv) is addicted to smoking opium; or
(v) uses obscene or abusive language in public; or
(vi) makes fraudulent collection in the name of charity;
(vii) is involved in affray, rowdism or acts of intimidation or violence in any place private or public so as to cause alarm to the people living or frequenting the neighbourhood;
it shall declare that such person is a goonda and direct that his name be publicly notified in the prescribed manner, and placed on the prescribed list of goondas.
(2) If the Tribunal is satisfied, as a result of enquiry as aforesaid, that any person complained against-
(i) having previously been declared a goonda has since such declaration acted in any manner specified in the preceding sub-section, or has contravened any prohibitory order published under section 15 made in respect of him by the Tribunal; or
(ii) corrupts young persons, by initiating them in the practice of any vice which if established against any person to the satisfaction of the Tribunal would entail his being declared a goonda or a dangerous goonda under this section; or
(iii) annoys or molests other persons, particularly women or young persons; or
(iv) publishes, distributes, circulates, sells or offers for sale an obscene book or picture or other objects; or
(v) does obscene acts including wilfully exposing his person in public; or
(vi) insults the modesty of women by using foul language or making indecent sounds or gestures, or by exposure of his person or the person of any other individual or of any object or otherwise howsoever; or
(vii) engages in kidnapping or seducing women or young persons or procuring women or young persons for immoral purposes; or
(viii) indulges in unnatural carnal intercourse; or
(ix) keeps a drinking or gambling den, or place where opium or other intoxicating drugs are smoked or otherwise consumed, or makes livelihood out of such den or place by acting as a tout or otherwise howsoever, or engages in the illicit manufacture or sale of liquor or opium or other intoxicating drugs; or
(x) behaves riotously in public by entering into affrays, or otherwise howsoever; or
(xi) causes fear or alarm to the public or any section or member thereof, by issuing threats verbally or in writing, or by making, publishing or circulating false statements, rumours or reports; or
(xii) is a bully, who assaults or threatens persons with the object of causing fear or alarm, or to compel them to act or not to act in a manner in which they are not bound to act, or as the case may be are entitled to act; or
(xiii) makes livelihood, or extorts money or other property, or seeks any concession or favour from any one, by any form of intimidation; or
(xiv) utters counterfeit coins; or
(xv) is by habit a smuggler of goods through customs or octroi or other tax barriers, without payment of the requisite duty or tax or in contravention of a lawful order prohibiting the export or import across such barriers; or
(xvi) is by habit a forger; or
(xvii) makes a livelihood out of, or otherwise practices whether by himself or in association with other persons, the receiving or disposal of stolen property; or(xviii) makes a livelihood by cheating, fraud, black marketing (that is to say, engaging in transactions involving the transfer, sale or movement of goods in contravention of any lawful order controlling such transfer, sale or movement), acting as an intermediary between bribe givers and corrupt officials or persons in public life, or by any other corrupt or dishonest means;
it shall declare that such person is a dangerous goonda, and shall direct that his name be publicly notified in the prescribed manner, and be placed on the prescribed list of dangerous goondas.
Special orders against goondas and dangerous goondas
14. While making declaration under section 13 the Tribunal may take such action, as it may deem fit, in one or more of the following ways:-
(1) Where the declaration is that the person complained of is a goonda,-
(a) it may, in view of his age and antecedents, and the fact that some person of mature age, who is in a position of authority over him, by virtue of relationship or otherwise, becomes responsible for his good behaviour and executes a bond or other document to the satisfaction of the Tribunal to this effect, release him after due admonition;
(b) it may require the person complained of to furnish a bond, with one or more sureties, for such period not exceeding three years and in such amount as may be specified, to be of good behaviour:
Provided that where the person complained of is a minor, a bond executed by a surety or sureties only, may be accepted;
(c) it may direct that the person complained of shall not visit any house or quarter inhabited by prostitutes, or any drinking or gambling den, or any place where opium or other intoxicating drugs are smoked or otherwise consumed or any other specified locality.
(2) In the case of a person who is declared a dangerous goonda,-
(a) it may direct that his movements shall be restricted to any area specified in the order; or may direct him to report himself at such times and places and in such mode as may be specified in the order, or it may make both the directions; or may direct that he shall be externed from the city or town and neighbouring areas thereof for which it has been constituted;
(b) it may direct that he shall not visit or go within surroundings, specified in the order or any of the undermentioned places, without the written permission of the officer-in-charge of the police-station within whose jurisdiction, such places are situated, namely,-
(i) schools, colleges, and other institutions where young persons are given education or other training or are housed permanently or temporarily;
(ii) theatres, cinemas, fairs, amusement parks, and other places of public entertainment;
(iii) public halls, restaurants, tea shops, and other places of public resort;
(iv) public or private parks and gardens;
(v) public or private playing fields and race-courses; or
(vi) the scene of any public meeting or procession or any assemblage of the public, whether in an enclosed place or otherwise, in connection with any public event or festival or other celebration.
Publication of declaration
15. An order under section 13 declaring any person to be a goonda or a dangerous goonda shall be published along with a statement of the order or orders, if any, made in respect of such persons under section 14, in such manner and containing such details as may be prescribed.
Bond under Tribunal’s orders
16. (1) Every bond furnished in compliance with an order made by the Tribunal under this Act shall be in the form prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, for a bond of the same description:
Provided that the Tribunal may direct that the sureties offered may be scrutinised by a Magistrate of the first class nominated for the purpose by the District Magistrate.
(2) The Tribunal may, where a person who has furnished a bond for his appearance makes default, direct, in addition to action under the other provisions of this Act, that a warrant shall be issued for the production of such person, which may be bailable or non-bailable as the Tribunal may direct.
(3) Where default is made in furnishing sureties, the Tribunal may direct that the person from whom such sureties were demanded shall be committed to prison or if he is already in prison, shall be detained in prison, until the sureties furnished or the period for which the security is demanded expires, or the Tribunal makes an order for the release of the person detained, whether conditional or otherwise.
(4) Any surety may apply to be released from obligation of his bond, and the Tribunal may, after such enquiry as it may deem fit, call upon the person who is bound down to furnish a fresh surety, and thereupon the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (3) shall apply in relation thereto:
Provided that the surety seeking release shall not be released from his obligations unless a fresh surety has been accepted in his place or in case no surety is furnished or accepted, he produces the person concerned before the Tribunal.
(5) The provisions of section 514 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, shall apply in respect of the forfeiture of bonds furnished under this Act, as if for the expression ‘Court' the expression ‘Tribunal' wherever applicable for the purposes of this Act, were substituted, and as if from sub-section (1) of the said section, the reference to a Magistrate of the first class were omitted, and as if in sub-section (7) of the said section-
(i) the reference to section 106 or section 118 or section 562 of that Code were replaced by a reference to clause (1)(b) of section 14 of this Act; and
(ii) the reference to a bond executed in lieu of the bond under section 514B of that Code were replaced by a reference to the proviso to clause (1)(b) of section 14 of this Act.
(6) A breach of any order made against any person under clause (1)(c) or clause (2) (a) or clause (2)(b) of section 14, or the commission of any offence which is punishable with imprisonment under any law for the time being in force and which in the opinion of the Tribunal involves or implies moral turpitude, shall amount to a breach of a bond for good behaviour which may have been furnished by him under this Act.
Revision of Tribunal’s orders
17. No appeal shall lie from any order made by the Tribunal but in relation to any such order under section 5 or section 13 or section 16, the 12[
High Court Division] may call for the record of the case, and if the Tribunal appear-
(a) to have exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law,
(b) to have failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or
(c) to have acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally,
High Court Division] may make such direction as it may deem sufficient for the rectification of the error or omission and the Tribunal shall conduct itself accordingly.
Enhanced punishments in some cases
18. Notwithstanding anything contained in the 14[
* * *] Penal Code, the Whipping Act, 1909, or any other law for the time being in force, when a dangerous goonda is convicted under an Act mentioned in the first column of the Schedule to this Act for an offence punishable under any of the sections of that Act mentioned against it in the second column of the said Schedule, the maximum punishment that may be awarded, on such conviction shall be that appearing in the corresponding entry in the third column thereof.
Procedure where a person absconds or conceals himself
19. If the Tribunal has reason to believe that a person against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued under section 8, has absconded, or is concealing himself, so that the warrant cannot be executed, it may-
(a) send a report to a Magistrate having jurisdiction in the area where the person complained of ordinarily resides or has his property or is present, and the said Magistrate shall take proceedings under sections 87, 88 and 89 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, in respect of the said person and his property as if the warrant were a warrant issued by the said Magistrate; or
(b) by order notified in the official Gazette direct the said person to appear before it, at such place and within such period as may be specified in the order; and if the said person omits to comply with such direction, he shall, unless he proves that it was not possible for him to comply therewith and that he had at the first possible opportunity within the period sent information to the Tribunal of the reasons which rendered compliance therewith impossible and of his whereabouts, be deemed to have evaded compliance with the order.
Photographs, fingerprints, etc
20. Every person, in respect of whom an order has been made under section 13 of this Act, shall, if so directed by the Tribunal present himself before such officer of the Government and at such place and time as may be specified in the order-
(i) for being photographed;
(ii) for giving his finger impressions or if literate, specimens of his handwriting and signature; and such person shall allow himself to be photographed and shall affix his finger impressions as required or as the case may be supply specimens of his handwriting and signature.
Offences cognizable and non-bailable
21. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other laws for the time being in force, every offence punishable under this Act, shall, within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, be cognizable and non-bailable.
Bar of Civil or Criminal Proceedings
22. No proceedings taken or orders passed under this Act, shall be called in question otherwise than as provided hereunder and no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against any person for anything done or intended or purporting to be done under this Act, or against any person for any loss or damage caused to or in respect of any property, as a result of an act done or purporting to be done under this Act.
Effect of other law and enactments
23. The provisions of this Act, and any order made or action taken under this Act, shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment, other than this Act, for the time being in force, and in any instrument having effect by virtue of any such enactment other than this Act.
Penalty for breaches of orders
24. (1) A breach of any order made under clause (1)(c) or clause (2)(a) or clause (2)(b) of section 14 shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description which in the case of a goonda may extend to one year and in the case of dangerous goonda to three years.
(2) A breach of any order made or direction given under this Act not otherwise provided for shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
Appointment and duties of Probation Officer
25. (1) The Government shall, in each city or town for which a Tribunal has been constituted, appoint an officer of police not lower in rank than a Deputy Superintendent of Police to be a Probation Officer.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Probation Officer under the general control of the Tribunal-
(a) to have the superintendence of all goondas and dangerous goondas in the city or town in which he has been appointed with a view to preventing them from evil association and assisting in their rehabilitation as useful citizens;
(b) to make reports at prescribed times and in the prescribed manner to the Tribunal regarding the general behaviour of each such goonda, and the manner of dealing with him;
(c) to make recommendations, as and when justified by the general behaviour of any such goonda for releasing him from any bond for good behaviour or from any order of prohibition or detention made in respect of him under sub-section (1)(b) or sub-section (1)(c) or sub-section (2)(a) or sub-section (2)(b) of section 14, as the case may be; and
(d) to make recommendations, as and when justified by marked improvement in the general behaviour, manner of life and character of any goonda or dangerous goonda that his name may be removed from any list on which it is carried.
Action on Probation Officer’s report
26. On receipt of a periodical report, or as the case may be, a recommendation, from the Probation Officer, the Tribunal may in the case of any goonda or dangerous goonda after such enquiry as it may deem necessary, direct-
(a) that he be released from any bond for good behaviour furnished by him or on his account and from any order of detention or of prohibition made in respect of him under section 14; or
(b) that his name be removed from the list of goondas or dangerous goondas, as the case may be.
27. The record of the proceedings held by the Tribunal or any portion thereof for which the person laying the information or conducting the prosecution before the Tribunal, has claimed privilege before the Tribunal or which he has requested for being kept a secret shall not be available for inspection by any one during the enquiry before the Tribunal or any revision proceedings before the 15[
High Court Division] hearing the revision, or after the disposal of the case, and such records shall after the disposal of the enquiries be kept in such custody as the Government may prescribe.
28. (1) The Government may make rules, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by sub-section (1), such rules may provide for-
(a) the lists to be maintained in which the names of goondas or dangerous goondas are to be registered, and the manner of such registration;
(b) the manner in which the names of persons who are declared to be goondas or dangerous goondas shall be publicly notified;
(c) the manner in which an order under clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 14 operate; and
(d) the periods for which and the manner in which Probation Officer shall make reports to the Tribunal regarding the general behaviour of goondas and dangerous goondas.
2 The word “areas” was substituted for the words “cities and towns” by section 2 of the East Bengal Control of Disorderly and Dangerous persons (Goondas) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1970 (East Pakistan Ordinance No. XI of 1970)
7 The words “area or areas” were substituted for the words “city or town and neighbouring areas thereof” by section 3 of the East Bengal Control of Disorderly and Dangerous persons (Goondas) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1970 (East Pakistan Ordinance No. XI of 1970)
11 The words “or Sub-Inspector of Police in charge of Police Station” were inserted by section 5 of the East Bengal Control of Disorderly and Dangerous Persons (Goondas) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1970 (East Pakistan Ordinance No. XI of 1970)