Preventive detention

What are the types of detention?

  • Punitive detention: It is a punishment for illegal acts done.
  • Preventive detention: It is imprisonment of a person beforehand to prevent possible commitment of crime. Preventive detention thus is action taken on grounds of suspicion that some wrong actions may be done by the person concerned.

 Under which article is it provided?

  • Article 22 (3) of the Indian constitution states:
  • This article states that if a person is arrested or detained under a law providing for preventive detention, then the protection against arrest and detention under Article 22 (1) and 22 (2) shall not be available.
  • A detainee under preventive detention can have no right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 19 or Article 21.

 What are grounds for Preventive detention?

It can be made only on four grounds which are as follows –

  • security of state,
  • maintenance of public order,
  • maintenance of supplies and essential services and defence,
  • foreign affairs or security of India.

 What are the safeguards provided in the constitution to prevent indiscriminate use Preventive Detention?

  • Time limit: Firstly, a person may be taken to preventive custody only for 3 months at the first instance. If the period of detention is extended beyond 3 months, the case must be referred to an Advisory Board. The period of detention may be extended beyond 3 months, only on approval by the Advisory Board.
  • Knowing the grounds: Secondly, the detainee is entitled to know the grounds of his detention. The state however may refuse to divulge the grounds of detention if it is in the public interest to do so (which leaves scope for arbitrary action on the part of the authorities).
  • Opportunity for representation against detention: Thirdly, the detaining authorities must give the detainee earliest opportunities for making representation against the detention.