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Preventive Detention Order Liable To Be Quashed If Detenu's Representation Is Considered After Long Delay :Supreme Court

Shruti Kakkar
9 Jan 2022 12:46 PM GMT
Preventive Detention Order Liable To Be Quashed If Detenus Representation Is Considered After Long Delay :Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court recently quashed a detention order after noting that the authority considered the representation of the detenu after a long delay.The Court observed that in the matter of considering representation made against detention order, the Competent Authority is duty-bound to do so with "utmost despatch".The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar was considering a...

The Supreme Court recently quashed a detention order after noting that the authority considered the representation of the detenu after a long delay.

The Court observed that in the matter of considering representation made against detention order, the Competent Authority is duty-bound to do so with "utmost despatch".

The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar was considering a special leave petition assailing order dated November 18, 2021 passed by the Madras High Court, Bench at Madurai ("impugned order").

In the impugned order the High Court rejected the writ petition challenging the detention order dated July 20, 2021 passed by the District Collector and District Magistrate under the Tamil Nadu Act, 14/1982-Serving of Orders against one Kalyanaodai Senthil @ Senthil who is now confined in Central Prison, Cuddalore.

While allowing the appeal in S. Amutha V. The Government Of Tamil Nadu & Ors, the bench observed,

"The explanation offered by the Competent Authority, who was called upon to decide the representation, to say the least, is unacceptable. For, in the matter of considering representation made against detention order, the Competent Authority is duty bound to do so with utmost despatch. The vague explanation of being pre- engaged with other official work for more than two months, cannot be countenanced in law. Notably, no details of the official work have been furnished, much less to indicate that it was relatively so urgent that the obligation to decide the representation against detention order with promptitude could wait for two months."

The bench said that although the detention order referred to the detenu's questionable activities that could have been good reason for detaining him by way of preventive action but the issue in the present case what whether the representation dated July 30, 2021 made by the detenu to Additional Chief Secretary to the Government, Home, Prohibition & Excise Department had been considered with utmost despatch by the appropriate authority.

Setting aside the impugned judgement and allowing the appellant's writ of quashing of the stated detention order the bench said,

"In the present case, it is an admitted position that the representation dated 30.7.2021 was received in the office of the concerned Authority on 18.8.2021, the Minister cleared the file finally on 20.10.2021. Even if, it may not be a case of lethargy of the Competent Authority to consider the representation, the time period of over two months spent in doing so, cannot be countenanced. It does not require such a long time to examine the representation concerning preventive detention of the detenu."

Directions were also issued to be set free forthwith in case he was not required in connection with any criminal case pending against him.

Case Title: S. Amutha v. The Government Of Tamil Nadu & Ors

Coram: Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 25

Click Here To Read/Download Order



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