Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • The Supreme Court noted that "the powers to be exercised under this law are exceptional powers that have been given to the government for its exercise in an exceptional situation," emphasising that the preventive detention law "strikes hard on the freedom and liberty of an individual, and cannot be exercised in a routine manner."
  • The Court has once again emphasised the distinction that while a law and order situation can be handled according to ordinary law of land, the use of the powers under the law of preventive detention is only justified when there is a public order situation; otherwise, preventive detention would be bad and would violate Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution because it infringes upon an individual's liberty and freedom.
  • According to the court's brief of the case's facts, on October 28, 2021, the commissioner of police for the Rachakonda Commissionerate issued a preventive detention order against the petitioner's husband on the grounds that the detainee had committed crimes involving the theft of gold chains, the majority of the victims of which were women. 
  • He has been carrying out this activity in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh since the year 2020. Up to 36 gold chain snatching offences were charged against him. 
  • The detenu and three others had previously organised a gang to perform these crimes in order to get quick cash. They allegedly arrived in Hyderabad by automobile and sought refuge at a resort. 
  • Their strategy involved conducting reconnaissance of various residential areas before lifting two-wheelers and motorbikes that were later employed in the chain-snatching offences.
  • The bench stated that there was absolutely no justification for using the extraordinary powers under the law of preventive detention and that there was no question in its mind that the facts and circumstances of the case as stated in the detention order dated 28.10.2021 reflect a law and order situation that can be dealt with under the ordinary law of land. 
  • The detainee has been granted bail in each of the four cases, and since he is likely to commit similar crimes, the order of preventative custody was issued, according to the justifications given by the authority in its imprisonment, justifying the invocation of the provisions of the detention statute. 
  • However, no explanation for why bail was granted in all four cases has been provided.
  • The bench came to the conclusion that it was not appropriate to invoke the Preventive Detention Law in this particular situation against the petitioner. According to the bench, "the powers to be exercised under the Preventive Detention Law are exceptional powers that have been given to the government for its exercise in an exceptional situation as it strikes hard at the freedom and liberty of an individual, and therefore cannot be exercised in a routine manner."
  • For clarification on the difference between "public order" and "law and order," the Court cited the precedent set in Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar.
  • The court approved the petition after mentioning how the Supreme Court recently had to comment on the state of Telangana's habitual and inappropriate usage of the Preventive Detention Law.


 

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