On the 25th February, 1974, the applicant was arrested by a police officer and was served at the Kitwe Police Station with a detention order under reg. 33 (6) of the Preservation of Public Security Regulations. He was held there until the 28th February, 1974, and then was taken to 5 Ndola and Lusaka. On the 28th February, 1974, the order was revoked. On the 31st March, 1974, at Lusaka Central Police Station, he was served with another detention order under reg. 33 (6). Thereafter he was detained at Lusaka Police Station. On the 13th March, he was served with a revocation of the police order and immediately thereafter was served with 10 a Presidential Detention Order under reg. 36 (1). On the 25th March, he was served with a revocation of that order and immediately thereafter was served with a further Presidential Detention Order made under the same Regulations. No reasons for his detention were served upon him and on the 2nd April, 1974, he applied for and obtained leave to apply for a writ of Habeas Corpus ad Subjiciendum on the ground that the applicant had not been furnished with a statement in writing specifying in detail the grounds upon which he was detained as required by s. 27 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
Held, allowing the application:
(i) That the Presidential orders of detention were made under the Preservation of Public Security Regulations which were in turn made under s. 3 of the Preservation of Public Security Act, Cap. 106, referred to in Article 26 of the Constitution, and accordingly it was necessary for Article 27 (1) (a) of the Constitution to be complied with and that failure to do so would render the detention unlawful.
(ii) That where an order is made under reg. 33 (1) of the said Regulations the grounds for such an order must then be in existence and although it was not necessary to furnish grounds for an order which has been revoked before the expiry of the 14 day period, it was, however, necessary that grounds should exist at the time the order is made.
(iii) That since the applicant was in detention in Lusaka Central Prison at the relevant times, it must have been practicable to serve him with grounds much earlier than the 11 days, and even if the grounds had only been known at the date of the issue of the second order it still would have been practicable to serve the grounds before the 11 days.
(iv) That the words "as soon as is reasonably practicable" in Article 40 27 (1) (a) of the Constitution were intended to impart a sense of urgency, but that the true time limit for the furnishing of grounds for detention was the period of 14 days.
(v) That on the evidence the applicant was in continuous physical detention at all relevant times; that there was no interruption 45 of the detention by the minimal fraction of time which elapsed between the handing over of the order of revocation and the handing over of the new order of detention; that there was no interruption in law since the detention was by the same detaining authority and for the same reason, and the revocation and further detention were co - terminus; that the principle of the de minimus and the principle that the law did not heed fractions of less than a day applied and that, accordingly, the applicant 5 neither in law nor in fact was at liberty for any fractional period of time at all.
(vi) That Article 27 (1) (a) of the Constitution referred to detention for not more than 14 days but did not make any reference whether that detention was in respect of different orders; that in the circumstances of this case the two orders by the same detaining authority and for the same reason must be treated as one continuing detention and the applicant had been in detention for the purpose of Article 27 (1) (a) for a period exceeding 14 days before the grounds were served; that his continued 15 detention after the period of 14 days was unlawful and, accordingly, the applicant would be released under Order 54, r. 4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.