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The Lawyer’s Digest: Supreme Court Judgments passed in September 2023

In Ameena Begum v. The State of Telengana and Ors., the challenge was to dismissal of a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus against an order of preventive detention. Importantly, the Court laid down the principles on which a Constitutional Court must test the legality of an order of preventive detention, that is, whether:

(i) the order is based on the requisite satisfaction, albeit subjective, of the detaining authority;

(ii) in reaching such requisite satisfaction, the detaining authority has applied its mind to all relevant circumstances, which is not based on material extraneous to the scope and purpose of the statute;

(iii) power has been exercised for achieving the purpose for which it has been conferred;

(iv) the detaining authority has acted independently or under the dictation of another body;

(v) the detaining authority, by reason of self-created rules of policy or in any other manner not authorized by the governing statute, has disabled itself from applying its mind to the facts of each individual case;

(vi) the satisfaction of the detaining authority rests on materials which are of rationally probative value, and the detaining authority has given due regard to the matters as per the statutory mandate;

(vii) the satisfaction has been arrived at bearing in mind existence of a live and proximate link between the past conduct of a person and the imperative need to detain him;

(viii) the ground(s) for reaching the requisite satisfaction are such which an individual, with some degree of rationality and prudence, would consider as connected with the facts relevant to the subject-matter of the inquiry;

(ix) such grounds are not vague but are precise, pertinent and relevant which, with sufficient clarity, inform the detenu the satisfaction for the detention, giving him the opportunity to make a suitable representation; and

(x) the timelines, as provided under the law, have been strictly adhered to.

On facts, the detenu’s actions were found not to be such as to disturb public order, but merely targeting particular individual. Hence, the detention order was set aside.

[Surya Kant J., Dipankar Datta J.]

[Keywords : Preventive Detention, Goonda, public order, law and order, personal liberty, Articles 21 and 22, Constitution of India]

Source: Barandbench

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