July 18, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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UPHOLDING LIBERTY: SUPREME COURT’s STANCE ON PREVENTIVE DETENTION ADVISORY BOARDS

TAG: GS 2: POLITY

THE CONTEXT: In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court of India emphasized the crucial role of advisory boards in preventive detention cases.

EXPLANATION:

  • The court highlighted the need for these boards to act as independent entities, safeguarding personal liberty from arbitrary state actions.
  • This analysis delves into the key aspects of the judgment, emphasizing the significance of advisory boards and the parameters for justifiable preventive detention.

Advisory Boards as Safeguards:

  • The Supreme Court rejected the notion of advisory boards as mere rubber stamps for the government.
  • Emphasized their role as ‘safety valves’ against arbitrary state power, ensuring the protection of personal liberty.
  • Highlighted the necessity for robust scrutiny of detention orders by qualified individuals, as mandated by Article 22 of the Constitution.

Scrutiny and Review Process:

  • Advisory boards mandated to review detention orders every three months under preventive detention laws.
  • Required to consider all relevant material, solicit additional information, and afford the detainee an opportunity to be heard.
  • Emphasized the importance of submitting detailed reports justifying the necessity of detention.

Case Analysis: Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (1986):

  • The judgment stemmed from an appeal against detention under the Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act.
  • The appellant was accused of threatening public order by engaging in criminal activities, specifically targeting women.
  • The court scrutinized the grounds for detention, emphasizing the need for concrete evidence and not mere hypotheses.

Distinction between ‘Public Order’ and ‘Law and Order’:

  • Justice Pardiwala delineated between the concepts of public order and law and order.
  • Public order disturbances extend beyond individual incidents to impact the larger community or society.
  • Emphasized that preventive detention should not substitute for the failure of regular law enforcement mechanisms.

Criteria for Justifiable Preventive Detention:

  • Activities deemed prejudicial to public order must transcend the capacity of ordinary laws to address them effectively.
  • Preventive detention should not be invoked solely due to the inability of law enforcement agencies to manage law and order situations.

Quashing of Detention Order:

  • The Supreme Court quashed the detention order against the appellant.
  • Found lack of concrete evidence linking the appellant to the alleged offenses, suggesting arbitrary detention based on suspicion.
  • Upheld the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and the right to due process in preventive detention cases.

SOURCE: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/advisory-boards-under-preventive-detention-laws-are-not-rubber-stamps-for-the-govt-says-sc/article68002452.ece

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