People looting crores of rupees are “enjoying life” but a man is in jail for allegedly stealing five sarees, the Supreme Court said on Monday as it pulled up the Telangana government for keeping him under preventive custody.
“A person who has taken away crores of rupees is enjoying his life. But here a person who took five sarees and he is in jail,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar.
The apex court, which was considering a plea filed by the wife of Ch Eliah, who has been in custody for one year without any trial for allegedly stealing five sarees in Hyderabad, listed the matter for further hearing on March 8.
During the hearing, the counsel representing the state argued that the arrest was made after many traders in Hyderabad complained about a gang of saree thieves operating there, which had prompted police to arrest him.
Earlier, the state government defended its move to detain Eliah from March 2016 under a preventive law called the Andhra Pradesh Prevention of Dangerous Activities related to bootleggers, dacoits, drug offenders, immoral traffickers and land grabbers.