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

By – Alankriti Narayan

The Supreme Court bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar repealed detention while considering a special leave petition, stating that the authority took more than the adequate amount of time required to consider the detenu, that is, detainee’s representation.

The mentioned leave petition was filed to challenge the statement passed by the Madras High Court, Bench at Madurai on November 18, 2021. The High Court dismissed the said writ petition, filed to challenge the detention order given by District Collector and the District Magistrate, under the Tamil Nadu Act, 14/1982 – Serving of Orders against one Kalyanaodai Senthil who is in prison.

The Supreme Court after hearing the sides observed that the explanation offered by the Competent Authority is unreasonable as the matter presented was of urgent importance so other official work could have been put on hold and the representation against detention order should have been considered on a priority basis. Also, no proof for the urgency of official work was provided which delayed the representation. The court also mentioned that in the mentioned case the Competent Authority is responsible to carry out the duty with “utmost despatch”.

Although the detention order mentioned the detenu’s questionable activities, the bench said that while that could have been a good reason for detaining him as a preventive measure, the question, in this case, was whether the detenu’s July 30, 2021 representation to the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government, Home, Prohibition & Excise Department had been considered with utmost despatch by the appropriate authority.

The court further ordered to release of Senthil if his presence is not required in relation to any other criminal cases. Thus, the final judgment on the appeal of S. Amutha V. The Government Of Tamil Nadu & Ors. Was finally given.