Preventive Detention law can’t be used to deal with ordinary law and order problem: Bombay HC quashes detention order

Team SoOLEGAL 25 Jun 2021 4:25pm

Preventive Detention law can’t be used to deal with ordinary law and order problem: Bombay HC quashes detention order

The Bombay High Court, on a preventative detention order issued by the Pune Police Commissioner under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act, remarked that such provisions cannot be used to deal with ordinary law and order problems. A proper criterion between "law and order" and "public order," according to SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, is twofold: whether the alleged activities cause a disruption in the community's normal pace of life, resulting in a breach of public order; or whether it just affects the individual, leaving society's serenity unaffected.

The court stated that, “The propensity and potentiality of the conduct to disrupt the community's normal pace of life deems it detrimental to the maintenance of public order.” The court also stated that the provisions of preventive detention can’t be resorted to as an “easy substitute” to deal with an “ordinary law and order problem.”It also added that while the detaining authority has the authority to detain someone, he must record a subjective satisfaction based on the evidence that the,“acts and conduct attributed to the proposed detainee are prejudicial to society and fall within the mischief of the provisions which empower the detention.”

The Court applied these concepts to the current issue and concluded that the petitioner's obnoxious conduct would fall under the "law and order" dragnet and be dealt with by regular legislation. The Court stated that, “it is very difficult to hold that the acts committed by the petitioner that it disturbed the public tranquillity by creating terror and panic in the society.” Therefore, the court quashed the detention order and releasing the petitioner from detention.

Shubham Rajendra Hingade, the petitioner appealed a detention order issued by the Detaining Authority on November 20, 2021, under Section 3(2) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act. He was charged with attempted murder by use of a dangerous weapon in two cases under the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, and the Maharashtra Police Act, and was released on bail in both cases. It was alleged that Hingade and his associates has committedoffences which are dangerous to the lives and properties of the people residing within the local limits of the police station.

The investigation also found that no one from their community came forward to file a complaint or testify against them because they were afraid of reprisal, as seen by two witnesses' in-camera remarks.As a result, the Police Commissioner issued a detention order, which was also authorised by the State administration. The order as well as the permission were both challenged in the current petition.

The court observed that Hingade was blamed for assaulting the first informants in each case.The petitioner's position is best described as that of a co-conspirator with the primary offender.The Detaining Authority had attempted to construct an image of Hingade as the primary suspect and the leader of a gang of assailants, but the allegations in the First Information Reports and other evidence contradicted this.

Tagged: Bombay HC   ordinary law   Maharashtra   Shubham Rajendra Hingade   Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act   MPDA   Indian Penal Code   Police Commissioner  
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