India

HC dismisses petition challenging PSA

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[ June 15, 2017 ] Jammu: State High Court dismissed the petition filed by Tajinder Singh alias Happy challenging the detention under Public Safety Act with the observation that it is not necessary that there should be multiplicity of grounds for making or sustaining an order of detention. Justice Tashi Rabstan after hearing Adv Anil Sethi with Adv Anmol Sharma for the detenue whereas Govt Advocate Sanjeev Padha for the state observed that counsel for respondents states that grounds of detention were read over and explained to detenu in his vernacular and he was informed to represent to Government against detention order. He further asserts that detenu is a notorious hard core criminal, a desperate character involved in a number of criminal activities, such as attempt to murder, assault, stabbing and criminal trespass by using illegal weapons.Justice Tashi Rabstan further observed that “Though ordinarily one act may not be held sufficient to sustain an order of detention, one act may sustain an order of detention if the act is of such a nature as to indicate that it is an organised act or a manifestation of organised activity.” The gravity and nature of the act is also relevant. The test is whether the act is such that it gives rise to an inference that the person would continue to indulge in similar prejudicial activity. That is the reason why single acts of wagon-breaking, theft of signal material, theft of telegraph copper wires in huge quantity and removal of railway fish-plates were held sufficient by the Supreme Court. Similarly, where the person tried to export huge amount of Indian currency to a foreign country in a planned and premeditated manner, as in the present case detenu has been apprehended in as many as six FIRs, which relate to attempt to murder, drug peddling, stabbing and keeping arms illegally, and selling drugs to youngsters and spoiling their future, it was held that such single act warrants an inference that he will repeat his activity in future and, therefore, his detention is necessary to prevent him from indulging in such prejudicial activity. If one looks at the acts, the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978, is designed for, is to prevent, they are all these acts that are prejudicial to security of the State or maintenance of public order. The acts, indulged in by persons, who act in concert with other persons and quite often such activity has national level ramifications. These acts are preceded by a good amount of planning and organisation by the set of people fascinated in tumultuousness. They are not like ordinary law and order crimes. If, however, in any given case a single act is found to be not sufficient to sustain the order of detention that may well be quashed but it cannot be stated as a principle that one single act cannot constitute the basis for detention. On the contrary, it does. In other words, it is not necessary that there should be multiplicity of grounds for making or sustaining an order of detention. With these observations Court dismissed the petition.