Non-adherence to technical requirements leads to quashing of detention orders: HC

Jammu and Kashmir High Court observed in an appeal that the detaining authorities were dealing with the issues of preventive detention very casually. 

A division bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal while quashing a detention order under Public Safety Act (PSA) of a detenue said: “Either the detaining authorities are not aware about the requirements of law or they are dealing (with) the issues of preventive detention very casually”. 

“We are at pains to observe that in routine this court comes across the cases in which the detention orders issued on the grounds of threat to the security and integrity of state are getting quashed due to non adherence to technical requirements,” the bench said.

The court pointed out that in many petitions the grounds taken are “non-furnishing of material relied upon by the detaining authority to the detenue, not informing the detenue about his right to make representation, not informing the detenue about the grounds of detention in the language that he understands”.

The court observed that time has come when the detaining authorities must be imparted proper training about the requirements of law in passing the detention order so as to ensure that such orders are not set aside on technical grounds.

The court asked its Registrar Judicial to send copies of the judgment to the Chief Secretary, Commissioner Secretary Home department and Law Secretary for compliance.

“It is made clear that any such slackness in future may invite imposition of personal cost on the officer concerned,” the court said.

The court made these observations while allowing an appeal filed by a detenue from Kulgam district Sartaj Ahmad Allie who had petitioned through advocate Wajid Haseeb against single bench judgment upholding his detention under Public Safety Act.

Allie was booked under PSA after DM Kulgam issued a detention order against him on November 28, 2018. Single bench had dismissed his petition against the detention on August 1, 2019. 

“Learned Single Judge though has discussed about the appellant being in custody at the time of passing of detention order but has not dealt this issue in right perspective. On this ground only the appeal deserves to be allowed,” the division bench said while allowing Allie’s appeal.