The Supreme Court asserted on Wednesday that a person can be detained for a year – without trial or bail – under the preventive detention law only in the “rarest of rare cases.”
Pulling up the Telangana government for detaining a thief who, according to enforcement agencies, habitually stole saris from showrooms, a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar threatened to release the man if the local police did not withdraw the detention order.
“It is a drastic measure. It needs to be applied in rarest of rare cases when there is a serious threat to society,” the bench told Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar who on behalf of the state justified the detention .
“One year behind the bar will give him senses,” Kumar said.
But, the CJI said: “We are not inclined to allow you to detain him further. Even otherwise you can’t use preventive detention against such persons. ”
Ch Eliah has been in jail since March 19, 2016 under the “Andhra Pradesh Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic and Land Grabbers Act 1986.” As per law, an alleged violator can be kept in jail for a year with no trial. However, the State Advisory Board has to confirm the detention under the statute.