"Preventive detention law cannot be resorted to deal with ordinary law and order problem:" Bombay High Court quashes detention order

25th June,2021


"Preventive detention law cannot be resorted to deal with ordinary law and order problem:" Bombay High Court quashes detention order



The Bombay High Court, in setting aside a preventative detention order issued by the Pune Police Commissioner under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act, stated that such provisions cannot be used to deal with regular law and order issues (Shubham Rajendra Hingade v. State of Maharashtra). A bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar observed that a proper test to distinguish between "law and order" and "public order" is twofold: whether the complained acts cause disruption of the community's normal tempo of life, thereby disrupting public order; and whether the complained acts cause disruption of the community's normal tempo of life, thereby disrupting public order. whether it only affects the individual, leaving society's tranquillity unaffected. The Court stated, "It is the inclination and potentiality of the act upsetting the community's even tempo of life that constitutes it harmful to the maintenance of public order." According to the Court, the laws authorising preventive detention cannot be used as a "easy replacement" to deal with a "ordinary law and order crisis." It went on to say that while the detaining authority has the ability to detain a person, he must record a subjective satisfaction based on the evidence that the "acts and conduct attributable to the requested detention are harmful to the society as a whole." The Court applied these concepts to the current issue and concluded that the petitioner's obnoxious activities would come inside the "law and order" dragnet and be dealt with by ordinary legislation. Shubham Rajendra Hingade, the petitioner, challenged a detention order issued by the Detaining Authority on November 20, 2021, under Section 3(2) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act. He was charged with grievous bodily harm by use of a lethal weapon in two cases under the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, and the Maharashtra Police Act, and was released on bail in both cases. As a result, the Police Commissioner issued a detention order, which was also supported by the State administration. The order as well as the permission were both challenged in the current petition.