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Preventive Detention Cannot Be Used In Ordinary Law And Order Situations, According To The Supreme Court

Azala Firoshi ,
  01 July 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court
Brief :

Citation :
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 908 OF 2022 (@ SLP (CRL. ) NO. 4260 OF 2022

Shaik Nazneen Vs The State Of Telangana & Ors

25th JUNE, 2022

Hon’ble Justice C. T. Ravikumar and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia

PETITIONER: Shaik Nazreen


Section 392 of the IPC


The bench of Justices C. T. Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia was hearing an appeal against the Telangana High Court's March decision, which dismissed the petitioner-Habeas wife's Corpus Writ Petition challenging her husband's order of prevention of detention.


  • On October 28, 2021, the Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda Commissionerate issued a prevention detention order against the petitioner's husband on the grounds that the detainee was involved in gold chain snatching offences, with the majority of the victims being women.
  • He has been doing so in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since 2020. He was charged with up to 36 gold chain snatching offences. Previously, the detainee and three others had formed a gang to commit these crimes in order to make quick money. They were said to have driven to Hyderabad and taken refuge in a lodge.
  • Their strategy was to conduct reconnaissance of some residential areas before lifting two wheelers and motor cycles, which were then used in the chain snatching offences.
  • Although the detainee was involved in more than 30 cases, the Apex Court noted that only four cases of chain snatching were considered grounds for detention, as the other cases were reported to be behind the proximity period and outside the Commissionerate's jurisdiction.
  • The bench of Justices Ravikumar and Dhulia noted that the F.I.Rs filed against the detainees are primarily for an offence of "robbery" under Section 392 of the IPC; that the detention order also states that the crimes were committed in broad daylight, causing fear and panic in the minds of the general public, particularly women, and that the government had to intervene to "maintain public order."


  • The bench noted that the powers in the present case were exercised under Section 3(1) of the Act; that under the aforementioned provision, inter alia, a detention order can be passed against a "goonda," and a "goonda" has been defined under Section 2 (g) of the Act; that since the allegation is that the detainee is involved in four cases of chain snatching, i.e., robbery, which comes under offences given under Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code.
  • The bench stated that there is no doubt in its mind that the facts and circumstances of the case as alleged in the detention order dated 28.10.2021 reflect a law and order situation that can be dealt with under ordinary law of land, and that there was no occasion to invoke the extraordinary powers under the law of Preventive Detention.


  • On the distinction between "public order" and "law and order," the Court referred to the precedent in Ram Manohar Lohia vs. State of Bihar.
  • Mentioning how the Supreme Court had to make an observation in a recent decision regarding the routine and unjustified use of the Preventive Detention Law in the state of Telangana, the bench allowed the appeal, set aside the order of detention dated 28.10.2021 and order dated 25.03.2022 of the Division Bench of the High Court, and ordered that the detainee be released immediately if he is not required in any other case.

Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

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