Reiterating that an order of detention cannot be quashed merely on the basis that no period of detention was provided in the order, the Supreme Court set aside a Madras High Court order that had followed an earlier two-judge bench decision of the apex court which stands overruled by another three-judge bench.
The Madras High Court, relying on apex court decision in Commissioner of Police and another v. Gurbux Anandram Bhiryani, and another judgment of the high court had quashed an order of detention since it admittedly does not contain the period of detention.
The state approached the apex court and contended that though the period of detention has come to an end, it is necessary to correct the statement of legal position contained in the decision of the high court.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed that in T Devaki v Government of Tamil Nadu, it has been held that since the legislation does not require the detaining authority to specify the period for which a detenue is required to be detained, the order of detention is not rendered invalid or illegal in the absence of such specification.
Justice DY Chandrachud, speaking for the bench, observed: “The High Court was not justified in quashing the order of detention on the basis that no period of detention was provided in the order. The High Court has proceeded on the basis of the decision of this Court in Bhiryani which is no longer good law in view of the subsequent decision of a larger Bench in Devaki. The decision of the High Court in Santhi, to the extent that it adopts the same position as in Bhiryani, will not reflect the correct legal position.”