Kerala High Court Orders Release of Woman Under Preventive Detention for Daughter’s Care

LI Network

Published on: November 11, 2023 at 00:20 IST

The Kerala High Court has granted the release of a woman detained under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 2007 (KAAPA).

The court’s decision, delivered by a division bench comprising Justices A Muhamed Mustaq and Shoba Annamma Eapen, is rooted in humanitarian grounds, driven by the urgent need to care for the detainee’s daughter, who is in an advanced stage of pregnancy.

The High Court explicitly stated that this release was exceptional, guided by the superior fundamental right to life and liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The court asserted its authority to order the release of an individual in custody under exceptional circumstances, recognizing the paramount importance of the right to life.

The woman in question faced over 19 criminal cases, primarily under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

While acknowledging the usual restraint in interfering with preventive detention orders, the court underscored the extraordinary circumstances presented by the daughter’s pregnancy.

The bench acknowledged the woman’s multiple pending cases but emphasized that the preventive detention order was originally issued to maintain public order, a factor the court deemed reasonable. Despite the statutory limitations, the High Court exercised its discretion to release the woman due to the significant humanitarian considerations involved.

Notably, the woman had already served a substantial period of detention, and her extended detention was set to expire on December 15. Consequently, the High Court directed her release from jail on November 14, alleviating her from the further period of detention.

This decision reflects the court’s delicate balance between legal constraints and the humane considerations essential for safeguarding fundamental rights.

Related Post