The Telangana High Court Division Bench of Justices A Rajasheker Reddy and T Amarnath Goud quashed a preventive detention order passed against a murder accused, noting that prevention detention laws should be exercised scrupulously and with extreme care.
The Court held that though the offences were against specific individuals and the offences in the said crimes were of gruesome and brutal nature, the gravity alone cannot be taken into consideration for passing the order of detention.
In the background, the detenu was running a brothel house by securing the girls, through illegal means, from her community and from other parts of the district. The girls procured were forced into prostitution with offers of money and life of luxury. The detenu, despite being named in various FIRs, continued her practice in an organized manner. This led to the disturbance in the adjacent areas and affected the life and public tranquility of the public at large and more particularly the residents of the locality.
It is seen that in crime no. 914/2019, the petitioner moved bail petition before the Addl. Metropolitan Sessions Judge at LB Nagar Ranga Reddy District vide Crl. MP. NO. 1131/2019 that was allowed and the Court granted the conditional bail to the detenu and he subsequently was released from the jail on Mar 07, 2020. The detenu was arrested once again in crime no. 681/2020. He moved a bail petition before the Metropolitan Sessions Judge vide Crl. MP No. 2524 of 2020 and the same was dismissed on Sep 01, 2020. The detenu continues to be in jail.
“Personal liberty is a precious right. Power conferred by such preventive detention law has to be exercised with extreme care and scrupulously within the bounds laid down in such a law. Preventive detention involves detaining a person without trial in order to prevent him from committing certain types of offences as such preventive detention cannot be made a substitute for the ordinary law and absolve the investigating authorities of their normal functions of investigating crimes”, said the Court.
When invoking the magical formula of preventive detention the detaining authority is required to consider whether the offences allegedly committed by the detenu can be dealt with within the normal course of the criminal justice system or not.
The HC thus ruled that that there were no compelling situations for the detaining authority to invoke the draconian preventive detention law against the detenu.
Case Title: Shaheda Begum vs State of Telangana [WP 20910/2020]