Preventive detention is a serious invasion of personal liberty

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Preventive detention is a serious invasion of personal liberty

Recently the Supreme Court has clarified that preventive detention is a serious attack on individual liberty.

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that “preventive detention is a serious attack on individual liberty”.
  • In such a situation, whatever safeguard provisions have been made in the Constitution and in the law authorizing such action, they should be strictly followed.
  • In this context, the Supreme Court bench has referred to the 1982 Supreme Court judgment in the case ‘Ashok Kumar Vs Delhi Administration’. In this case it was said that the provision of preventive detention has been made to provide security to the society.
  • The object of this law is not to punish a person for the act he has done, but to block him before committing an act and to deter him from doing so.
  • In Ram Manohar Lohia v State of Bihar, the Supreme Court had observed that preventive detention can be justified only for the most serious of acts.
  • Preventive detention refers to the detention of a person who has not yet committed an offense but who the authorities feel may pose a threat to law and order.
  • The Constitution of India provides protection from arrest and detention under Articles 22(1) and 22(2).
  • This protection is not available to a person arrested or detained under preventive detention laws (Article 22(3)).

Following are some of the laws in which provisions for preventive detention have been made-

  • Criminal Procedure Code,
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985,
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act etc.

According to the ‘Crime Report 2021 in India’ of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), more than 1.1 lakh people were placed under preventive detention in the year 2021 in India. This number is the highest since 2017.

Source – The Hindu

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