Expedite personal liberty cases: SC to courts

 The Supreme Court has asked courts in the country to decide expeditiously cases affecting personal liberty of an individual.

“We remind all high courts that in a matter of this nature affecting personal liberty of a citizen, it is the duty of the courts to take all endeavours and efforts for an early decision,” a bench of justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi said.

The apex court said there should not be any delay in pronouncing decision in cases where prevention detention orders have been passed for a certain period.

“We request all the high courts to give priority to disposal of matters relating to personal liberty of a citizen, particularly when the detention period is for one year or less than a year and, more so, after hearing the parties, the decision must be known to the affected party without unreasonable delay,” it added. The court was hearing an appeal filed by Baby Devassy Chully.

He had challenged a detention order passed by a government authority under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, with a view to preventing him from abetting smuggling of goods.

Though the court refused to interfere with the detention order after being satisfied with its propriety, it lamented that the Bombay High Court took five months to deliver its final verdict after reserving its order on his petition.

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