Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday held that the “detaining authority cannot pass a detention on two expressions” while quashing a Public Safety Act (PSA) detention order against a resident of Shopian district.
The court noted that the expressions, ‘law and order, ‘public order’, and ‘security of the State’ are distinct concepts and not always related.
“Every public order if disturbed must lead to public disorder but every breach of the peace does not lead to public disorder,” the court said.
The court exemplified that when two drunkards quarrel and fight, there is disorder but not public disorder.
Justice Tashi Rabstan said that the two drunkards can be dealt with under powers to maintain law and order but cannot be detained on the ground that they were disturbing public order.
“Disorder is no doubt prevented by the maintenance of law and order also but disorder is a broad spectrum which includes at one end small disturbances and at the other the most serious and cataclysmic happenings,” Justice Tashi recorded.
In the present case of Parvaiz Ahmad Kuchay, the court said, “Intriguingly, the detaining authority has made use of both expressions ― ‘prejudicial to security of the State’ as well as ‘prejudicial to maintenance of public order’.” Justice Rabstan pointed out that the respondents had displayed non-application of mind as on the one hand the detaining authority justifies the detention order saying it apprehends that the actions of the detenu will be prejudicial to maintenance of public order, but then goes on pass the detention order for the purpose of security of the State.
“Thus, the reliance on both the expressions in the grounds of detention furnished to detenu is to be held illegal, and as a corollary thereof, the impugned order is vitiated. For the foregoing reasons, this petition is disposed of and detention Order No. 31/DMS/PSA/2019 dated 10 August, 2019 passed by District Magistrate, Shopian, is quashed,” the court ordered.
“Respondents are directed to release the detenu forthwith, provided he is not required in any other case,” the court directed.