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Conviction in criminal case cannot be precedent for booking

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Jun 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that conviction in a criminal case cannot be a precedent for booking a person under Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slum Lords, Boot Leggers and Drug Offenders Act, 1981.

Allowing the appeal of the state of Maharashtra, a vacation bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and P P Naolekar observed, ''as the order of detention shows the detenue was involved in 14 cases and several cases were pending which related to offences punishable under chapter 16 and 17 of the IPC and chapter 5 of the Arms Act 1959. Considering the nature of the jurisdiction which the detaining authority exercises, the conclusion of the High Court that there must be a conviction before it can be said that the detenue habitually commits offences is clearly unsustainable. The appeal is bound to succeed.'' District Magistrate passed a detention order against Mehamud on August 12 1999 under section 3 of the Act .

The said order was challenged before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court which held mere pendency of cases would not be sufficient to treat a person as a dangerous person.

It was also held that since there was curtailment of liberty, the same has to be based on foundation of complaint before the court, a charge against him, a full-fledged trial and then recording of the judgement of conviction which alone may enable such persons being described to have committed a crime and the High Court set aside the order of detention. Though the detenue had suffered about ten months of detention before the High Court judgement came, the state of Maharashtra wanted to challenge the views expressed by the High Court that no one can be detained under the Act till he is convicted in a criminal case.


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