●Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Preventive detention laws are crucial mechanisms that balance state security interests with individual liberties. They are intended to prevent future threats to public order or security but must be implemented within the framework of constitutional principles to avoid abuse.

Constitutional Framework:

Article 22: Guarantees rights to arrested individuals, including being informed of grounds of arrest and the right to legal representation.
●No law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months unless— (a) an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as, Judges of a High Court has reported before the expiration of the said period of three months that there is in its opinion sufficient cause for such detention.
Article 21: Ensures the right to life and personal liberty, emphasising the fundamental importance of individual freedom.

Purpose of Preventive Detention Laws:

●Act as a safety valve against potential threats to state security or public order.
●Allow authorities to take proactive measures to prevent harm before it occurs.

Key Principles:

Proportionality: Preventive detention measures must be proportionate to the perceived threat.
Fairness: Individuals subjected to preventive detention must be afforded due process and an opportunity to challenge their detention.
Reasonableness: Detention orders should be based on reasonable grounds and not arbitrary or capricious.

Role of Judiciary:

●Judicial oversight is essential to ensure that preventive detention powers are not misused or applied arbitrarily.
●Courts play a crucial role in upholding constitutional rights and preventing the abuse of power by reviewing detention orders and ensuring adherence to due process.

Jaffar Ahmad Parray’s Case:

●Jaffar Ahmad Parray was detained in May 2023 under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir.
●The Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s decision to quash Parray’s preventive detention order highlights the importance of adhering to constitutional principles.
●Emphasis on the requirement for the District Magistrate to apply their mind and consider representations from the detained individual underscores the need for procedural fairness.

Surinder Singh v. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (2020):

●Justice Puneet Gupta quashed a detention order against an alleged “history-sheeter” under the PSA.
●The detention order was deemed a “copy-paste” of the police dossier, showing a lack of application of mind by the authorities.

Justice Chinnappa Reddy’s Decisions (1985):

●Justice Chinnappa Reddy directed the release of petitioners detained under the PSA.
●He found instances where detention orders were made without proper application of mind, rendering them invalid.

Vijay Kumar v State of J&K (1982):

●In this case, the District Magistrate issued a preventive detention order against someone already in jail without acknowledging this fact.
●The court emphasised the need for compelling reasons for detention orders and criticised the lack of application of mind by authorities.

Preventive detention laws should be viewed as a necessary but limited tool to address security threats while upholding individual liberties. Adherence to constitutional principles, judicial oversight, and procedural fairness are essential to prevent the misuse of power and safeguard the rule of law.


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