PETITIONER: HARU DAS GUPTA Vs. RESPONDENT: STATE OF WEST BENGAL DATE OF JUDGMENT01/02/1972 BENCH: SHELAT, J.M. BENCH: SHELAT, J.M. KHANNA, HANS RAJ CITATION: 1972 AIR 1293 1972 SCR (3) 329 1972 SCC (1) 639 CITATOR INFO : F 1990 SC 487 (12) ACT: West Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act, (President's Act 19 of 1970), ss. 12 and 13-Period of three months from the date ofdetention-Method of computation. HEADNOTE: The petitioner was arrested and detained on February 5, 1971 under' s. 3 of the West Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act, 1970. After receipt of the report of the Advisory Board, the St-ate Government confirmed the detention order on May 5, 1971. On the question whether the confirmation was made one day after the expiration of the period of 3 months from the date of detention. HELD : The effect of defining a period from such a day until such a day within which an act is to be done is to exclude the first day and to include the last day; and therefore, in the present case, the order of confirmation was made before the expiration of the period of three month& from the date of detention. [331 E-F] Young v. Higgon, 6 M & W 50 151 E.R. (Ex.) 317, Radcliffe v.. Bartholomew,  1 Q.B. 161, Williams v. Burges 10 L.J.0.D. 10, Hardy v. Rlye, 9 B & C 603, English v. Cliff,  2 Ch. 376, Goldsmiths Co. v. West Metropolitan Rly. Co.  1 K.B. 15, Cartwright v., MacCormac,  1 All E.R. 11, 13, Marren v. Dawson Bentley & Co..' Ltd.,  2 Q.B. 135, Stewart v. Chanman, . 2 K.B. 792, In re.: North, Ex parte Hasluck,  2 Q.B. 264 and Halsbury's Laws of Eng-land 3rd ed. Vol. 37, pp. 92 and 95) refererd to. JUDGMENT:
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION : Writ Petition No. 287 of 1971.
Under article 32 of the Constitution of India for a writ in
thenature or habeas corpus.
N. N. Goswami, for the petitioner.
D. N. Mukherjee, Sukumar Basu and G. S. Chatterjee, for the
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Shelat, J. The petitioner was arrested and detained on,
February 5, 1971 in pursuance of an order of detention
passed on that very day by the District Magistrate, 24
Parganas under sec. 3(1) and (3) of the West Bengal
(Prevention of Violent Activities), Act, President’s Act 19
There is no dispute that, as required by the Act, his case
was referred to the Advisory Board and on receipt of its
there was sufficient cause for his detention, the State
Government under sec. 12 of the Act made an order or
decision confirming .,the said detention order and
continuing his detention thereunder. The order of
confirmation and continuation was made on May 5, 1971.
The only contention raised in this petition was that the
order or decision of confirmation of the said detention
order was made one day after the expiration of the period of
three months from the date of detention, that the said
period of three months would lend on the midnight of May 4,
1971, and that any confirmation .and continuation of
detention made thereafter would not be valid.
The question is when can the period of three months from the
date of detention be said to have expired. When a period of
time running from a given day or event to another day or
event is prescribed by law or fixed by contract and the
question arises whether the computation is to be made
inclusively or exclusively of the first-mentioned or of the
last-mentioned day, regard must be had to the context and to
the purpose for which the computation has to be made.
(Halsbury’s Laws of England, (3rd. ed.) vol 3 7, p. 92).
There is, however, a volume of authority in England showing
that where a certain thing has to be done within a specified
period, the day on which the cause of action arose, is to be
excluded from computation and the day on which such action
is taken is to be included. As early as 1840, Parke, B.
laid down this rule in Young v. Higgon(1). In Radcliffe v.
Bartholomew (2) Wills, J., relying on Williams v. Burgess(3)
and Hardy v. Ryle (4) held that a complaint under the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, filed on June 30, in
respect of an act alleged to have been committed on May 30,
was “within one calendar month after the cause of such
complaint shall arise”. He held so on the principle that
the day on which the cause for the complaint arose had to be
excluded while computing the period within which under the
Act the complaint had to be filed. In Williams v. Burgess,
(3) the statute directed warrants of attorney to be filed
“within twenty one days after their execution”, and it was
held that a warrant .executed on the 9th day of the month
would be regarded as having been filed in proper time if
filed on the 30th, the day of execution being one which had
to be excluded,. On the other hand, in a case where a
settler by a settlement, dated May 13, 1892, conveyed real
estate unto and to the use of the trustees upon trust
thereinafter declared and it was thereby declared that they
should ,stand possessed of the said premises during the
term of twenty one years from the date thereof upon trust to
apply the rents and
(1) 6 M & W 50-151 English Reports (Ex) 317.
(2)  1 Q.B. 161.
(3) 10 L.J. Q.B.10.
(4) 9 B & C 603.
profits as therein mentioned and it was further declared
that them trustees should at the expiration of the said term
of twenty-one years sell the said premises and pursuant to
the said trust for sale the trustees contracted to sell the
real estate on June 20, 1913, it was held that the term of
twenty-one years commenced from the midnight of May 12,
1892, and therefore, the trust was not void for remoteness
on the ground of exceeding a term of twenty one years from
its creation. [see English v. Cliff (1)].
These decisions show that courts have drawn a distinction
between a term created within which an act may be done and a
time limited for the doing of an act. The rule is well
established that where a particular time is given from a
certain date within which an act is to be done, the day on
that date is to be excluded. see Goldsmiths’ Company v. The
West Metropolitan Railway Company (2 ) 1. This rule was
followed in Cartwright v. MacCormack(3), where the
expression “fifteen days from-the date of commencement of
the policy” in a cover note issued by an insurance company
was construed as excluding the first date and the cover note
to commence at midnight of that day, and also in Marren v.
Dawson Bentley & Co. Ltd.,(4) a case for compensation for
injuries received in the course of employment, where for
purposes of computing the period of limitation the date of
the accident, being the date of the cause of action, was
excluded. [see also Stewart v. Chanman(5) and In re North,
Ex parte Hasluck(6)]. Thus, as a general rule the effect of
defining a period from such a day until such a day within
which an act is to be done is to exclude the first day and
to include the last day. (see Halsbury’s Laws of England,
(3rd ed.) vol. 37, pp. 92 and 95) There is no reason why the
aforesaid rule of construction followed consistently and for
so long should not also be applied here.
In computing the period of three months from the date of
detention, which was February 5, 1971, before the expiration
of which the order or decision for confirming the detention
order and continuation of the detention thereunder had to be
made, the date of the commencement of detention, namely,
February 5, 1971, has to be excluded. So done, the order of
confirmation was made before the expiration of the period of
three months from the date of detention.
The contention raised on behalf of the petitioner, thus,
cannot be sustained. Accordingly the writ petition is
V.P.S. Petition dismissed. (1)  2 Ch 376. (3)  1 All E.R. 11 at P. 13. (5)  2 K.B. 792. (2) (1904) 1 K.B. 1, at p. 5. (4)  2Q.B. 135. (6)  2 Q.B. 264. 332