'Goondas' can be held under preventive detention law: SC

'Goondas' can be held under preventive detention law: SC

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan also held that there is no Constitutional obligation for the government to hear the accused before confirming the order of detention, though the detaining authority may consider the representation after passing the order.

"It is the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority that in spite of his continuous activities causing threat to maintenance of public order, he was getting bail one after another and indulging in the same activities.

"There is no constitutional mandate under Clause (5) of Article 22, much less any statutory requirement to consider the representation before confirming the order of detention," Justice Sathasivam, writing the judgement, observed.

The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing the appeal filed by D M Nagaraja, who was allegedly involved in several criminal activities. The Karnataka High Court had dismissed his petition against the detention order dated September 22, 2010 passed by the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City, under Section 2(g) of the Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum-Grabbers Act, 1985 for one year.

Nagaraja took the plea that the detention was illegal and violated his Fundamental Right as his representation from the prison was not considered by the authorities before passing the order of detention.

Upholding the detention, the apex court said the State had rightly passed the order as he was habitually committing crimes and violating public order by threatening the public and damaging properties.

"The essential concept of preventive detention is that the detention of a person is not to punish him for something he has done but to prevent him from doing it. "The records also indicate that the detenue has about 28 associates assisting him in his criminal activities and a number of cases are pending against them. The detenue has no regard for human life.

"The cases registered against him pertain to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, rioting, assault, damage to public property, provoking the public, extortion while settling land disputes, possessing illegal weapons etc.," Justice Sathasivam said.

The apex court noted that though Nagaraja was earlier sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for nine years, it had not deterred him from his criminal activities.
"In fact, from 1981 up to 2010, he has systematically committed these criminal activities. All the above mentioned details which have been correctly stated in the detention order clearly show that the appellant is not amenable to ordinary course of law.

"It also shows that even after his release on bail from the prison on various occasions, he again started indulging in same type of offences, particularly, threatening public life, damaging public property etc.," the apex court said.