A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit made the remarks while setting aside the preventive detention order passed in November 2021 by the Tripura government.
Preventive detention is a serious invasion of personal liberty, said the Supreme Court on Friday, while noting that constitutional safeguards in such matters are non-negotiable.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit made the remarks while setting aside the preventive detention order passed in November 2021 by the Tripura government against a man to prevent illicit drug trafficking, on the basis of non-application of mind and withholding of important information by authorities.
The bench included justices S Ravindra Bhat and J B Pardiwala, which pointed out that apart from the contravention of safeguards, a detention order can also be set aside on account of an unexplained delay in detaining the person.
Remarks of the bench on preventive detention
Preventive detention is a serious invasion of personal liberty and the normal methods open to a person are not available to the person who is preventively detained and charged with a commission of any offence to disprove the charge or prove his innocence at the trial. Therefore, in preventive detention jurisprudence, whatever amount of safeguards the Constitution and the enactments of such detention authority provide, are assumed to be of utmost importance and must be strictly adhered to, the court remarked.
It highlighted that a detention order becomes bad in law if all relevant facts about a person who is proposed to be detained are either concealed or not placed before appropriate authorities by the police.
The prerequisite subjective satisfaction, the formation of which is a condition precedent to passing of a detention order, will be set aside if materials or important facts which would have a bearing on the issue weigh the satisfaction of the detaining authority one way or another and influence his mind is either withheld or suppressed by the sponsoring authority or else ignored and not considered by the detaining authority before issuing the detention order, the bench said.