Stringent Provisions Of Detention Laws Misused In A Callous Manner, Authorities Should Refrain From Passing Careless Orders: Madras High Court

Upasana Sajeev

22 March 2024 9:09 AM GMT

  • Stringent Provisions Of Detention Laws Misused In A Callous Manner, Authorities Should Refrain From Passing Careless Orders: Madras High Court

    While setting aside the detention of a man under the Tamil Nadu Preventive Detention Act 14 of 1982, the Madras High Court expressed its discontentment with the manner in which the State was callously misusing detention orders. The bench of Justice MS Ramesh and Justice Sunder Mohan however refrained from passing deterrent orders against the State and hoped that the State would mend...

    While setting aside the detention of a man under the Tamil Nadu Preventive Detention Act 14 of 1982, the Madras High Court expressed its discontentment with the manner in which the State was callously misusing detention orders.

    The bench of Justice MS Ramesh and Justice Sunder Mohan however refrained from passing deterrent orders against the State and hoped that the State would mend its approach and refrain from carelessly passing detention orders in the future.

    “We express our discontentment on the callous manner in which the stringent provisions of a detention law have been misused. In normal circumstances, when we encounter with such an illegal and unlawful action of the authorities, we would be passing deterrent orders by imposing costs on the concerned authorities. However, we refrain from doing so in the present case with a fond hope that the authority would mend its approach and refrain from passing such careless orders in future,” the court observed.

    The court was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by one Nagomi against the detention of her husband Kamalakannan under the TN Preventive Detention Act. It was submitted that the case attributed to Kamalakannan did not disclose any disturbance to the maintenance of public order which warranted detention under the harsh detention laws.

    While perusing the detention order, the court noted that the detaining authority had relied on the adverse case registered against Kamalakannan which related to impersonation and forging of the deed of power of attorney to trap the property of a third party. The detaining authority, in its order, had observed that by committing the grave crime of fabricating documents and land grabbing, Kamalakannan had created scare and feelings of insecurity in the minds of the general public, who intended to purchase a piece of land, using their hard-earned money and the general public who have purchased land for their future and thereby acted in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

    The court noted that the adverse case was in connection with a private land dispute and the facts of the case did not suggest that the community or public would be affected at large. The court added that to categorize an act as prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, it must affect the community or the public at large.

    Thus, finding that the acts alleged against Kamalakannan did not involve any disturbance to the general public, the court opined that the Detaining authority had failed to apply his mind while arriving at subjective satisfaction. The court thus observed that the detention order was liable to be rendered as illegal and set aside the same.

    Counsel for the Petitioner: Ms.R.Subadra Devi

    Counsel for the Respondents: Mr.E.Raj Thilak, Additional Public Prosecutor assisted by Mr.C. Aravind

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 127

    Case Title: K Nagomi v The Additional Chief Secretary to Government and Ors

    Case No: H.C.P.No.2389 of 2023

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