'Preventive detention in public interest is justified'
Preventive detention of a person in public interest is justified and courts cannot interfere with it unless there are "exceptional" circumstances, the Supreme Court has said.
Such detention is intended to strike a delicate balance between an individual's personal liberty (Fundamental Right) and safety of the country and society at large, the apex court said.
A bench of Justices C K Thakker and Altamas Kabir in a judgement that a preventive detention order passed on the basis of a "suspicion" was to prevent a person from acting in any manner prejudicial to public interest or law, and courts must be conscious while granting relief to such persons.
"Interference by a court of law at that stage must be an exception rather than a rule and such an exercise can be undertaken by a writ court (Supreme Court/High Courts) with extreme care, caution and circumspection," the bench observed.
The bench passed the observation while upholding an appeal filed by the Maharashtra Government challenging a Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) judgement which quashed the detention order passed by the authorities against Bhaurao PunjabRao Gawande, a petroleum product transporter for alleged black marketing.
Though the authorities passed the detention order against Gawande under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, the High Court quashed the order after he approached it before the detention order could be executed.