The Full Bench of Karnataka High Court has ruled that an order of detention under Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drugs Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and SlumGrabbers Act, 1985 cannot be quashed per se for the reason that it does not mention the period of detention.
In the absence of such a specification, Section 13 of the Act would operate, which states that the period of detention is twelve months from the date of detention when the detention order is confirmed by the Advisory Board under Section 12 of the Act, the Bench headed by the Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee observed.
The Court also observed that the period of three months referred to in the proviso to Section 3(2) of the Act has nothing to do with the period of detention. The said period only governs the entrustment or the competence of District Magistrate to make an order of detention, the Bench said.
”When a detention order is made under Section 3(1) by the State Government or under Section 3(2) by an officer mentioned therein, which order has been approved within twelve days by the State Government, under no circumstance, can it extend beyond twelve months from the date of detention. Therefore, it is not necessary that the order of detention must specify the period of detention.”, the Bench observed.
The Court also observed that if the detention order specifies the period of detention then, care must be taken to ensure that the said period of detention does not exceed twelve months from the date of detention.
The Court further observed: “The period of three months specified in Article 22(4)(a) of Constitution of India is relatable to the period of detention prior to the report of the Advisory Board and not to the period of detention subsequent thereto. Further, the period of detention in terms of Article 22(4)(a) cannot be in force for a period beyond three months, if by then, the Advisory Board has not given its opinion holding that there is sufficient cause for such detention.”