No interference with black marketeers detention orders: SC

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New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that courts in the country should not interfere with the detention orders passed against black marketeers of essential commodities at pre-execution and pre-arrest stage.

A bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and Altamas Kabir, while allowing the appeal of Maharashtra state, set aside the order of the Bombay High Court and questioned the order of detention passed by Police Commissioner (Nagpur City) against Bhau Rao Punjab Rao Gawande who was facing several cases of black marketing of kerosene oil.

The order of detention was passed against him on July 27, 2006 but he came to know of the impending order and ran away and did not surrender.

Detention order was passed under the Prevention of Marketing and Maintenance of supplies of essential commodities Act 1980.

The apex court in its judgement dated March 3 noted, ''The court must be conscious and mindful of the fact that this is a 'suspicious jurisdiction' that is jurisdiction based on suspicion and an action is taken with a view to preventing a person from acting in any manner prejudicial to certain activities enumerated in the relevant detension law.

''Interference by a court of law at that stage must be an exception rather than a rule and such an exercise can be undertaken by a writ court with extreme care, caution and circumspection.

''A detenu can not ordinarily seek a writ of mandamus if he does not surrender and is not served with an order of detention and the grounds in support of such order.

''The case on hand in our considered opinion, does not fall within the category of exceptional cases and the High Court committed an error of law in setting aside the order of detention at the per-execution and pre-arrest stage.

''The said order therefore deserves to be set aside and is hereby set aside.

''It is open to the authorities to execute the order of detention. It is equally open to the detenu to challenge the legality there of on all available grounds.'' The apex court also made it clear that it has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case.

UNI AKS/SC DS KN1748

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