Grounds of Preventive detention do not involve apprehension of breach of Law and Order: Supreme Court

On Monday, the Supreme Court while dealing with a case of detention order made due to 5 FIRs against the Detenu quashed the detention order and held that a mere apprehension of commission of breach of Law and Order cannot be a reason for Preventive Detention.

The Court headed by Justice RF Nariman held that an act that affects the law and order must also affect the public at large for it to be called an act affecting the public order. An order of Preventive Detention can only be passed when an act is likely to adversely affect the public order.

In the present case, the FIR was filed under sections 420, 406 and 506 of the India Penal Code. The detention was confirmed by the Advisory Board after which the wife of the detenu challenged the order before the High court which was later rejected.

The Appellate Court observed that the terms ‘law and order’, ‘public order’, and ‘security of state’ have a different meaning from one another. Preventive Detention must only be used to prevent public disorder. The Court thus allowed the appeal and quashed the detention.

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