Detention orders hinge on subjective satisfaction: HC

A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court has held that the law is well settled that satisfaction of the detaining authority is subjective and that except in cases where mala fides are alleged, the

Published: 19th December 2016 01:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2016 05:51 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court has held that the law is well settled that satisfaction of the detaining authority is subjective and that except in cases where mala fides are alleged, the court has no jurisdiction to examine the material based on which the subjective satisfaction is arrived at, in order to know whether the subjective satisfaction was properly arrived at or not.

The bench, comprising justices CV Nagarjuna Reddy and G Shyam Prasad, passed this order on a habeas corpus petition filed by the father of the detenu seeking production of his son in the court and his release. He urged the court to hold the detention order passed by the police authority under the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Land Grabbers Act, 1986, as illegal.

After perusing the detention order, the bench said it was a matter of grave concern that a person holding the position of manager in a central government organisation allegedly indulged in activities of rape, outraging of modesty of women, cheating, eve-teasing and other activities for years. The detenu was involved in three offences within a span of two months in a particular year. The allegations, on which the cases were registered against him, are rather grave, not befitting the position of a manager, it was observed.

As regards the grounds of detention, it was alleged that the detenu made a woman  believe that he was providing free EAMCET coaching and took particulars and phone number of her daughter, a student, and started following the latter at her college and other places and abusing her family in filthy language in the name of love. The family members and other girls were panicked and scared. Later, the detenu was arrested in connection with the said incident.

In yet another incident, the detenu was frequently telephoning and messaging a girl student using vulgar language and was arrested and remanded in judicial custody last year. In another incident, he started harassing another girl in the city over telephone in abusive and vulgar language. Based on the above noted activities, the police commissioner issued the detention order which was approved by the government. The father of the detenu moved the High Court challenging the detention order.

The petitioner’s counsel, while terming the allegations against the detenu as false, said that as on the date of issuance of the detention order, the detenu was in judicial custody and therefore the impugned order cannot be sustained. The detaining authority failed to apply his mind and  arrived at a wrong conclusion that there was a likelihood of the detenu repeating the offences, he argued.

After hearing the counsel and perusing the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of N Meera Rani vs Government of Tamil Nadu, the bench said it was clear that subsisting custody of the detenu by itself did not invalidate an order of the preventive detention and that if the detaining authority showed its awareness about the fact of subsisting custody and likelihood of his release, a detention order could be validly made to prevent the offender from indulging in his activities which are likely to be prejudicial to the public order after his release from judicial custody. Therefore, the impugned detention order in the present case did not suffer from the defect the apex court pointed out in the said case.

The bench dismissed the petition, saying that it did not find any illegality or procedural impropriety in the impugned orders of detention and confirmation.

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