Sun, 20 May 2012 10:24:53 GMT

Personal liberty can't be curtailed illegally: Supreme Court

New Delhi: Personal liberty is the "most precious and prized right" guaranteed by the Indian constitution and it can't be taken away without following the due procedure of law, says the Supreme Court.


Personal liberty can't be curtailed illegally: Supreme Court

The court said this as a caution while holding that a person who is already in custody could be ordered to remain in detention (under the National Security Act) only if there was a real possibility that his release on bail would lead to activities prejudicial to public order.

Holding that "there is no prohibition in law to pass detention order in respect of a person already in custody in respect of criminal case", the apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra said: "Personal liberty of a person is sacrosanct and state cannot be permitted to take it away without following the procedure prescribed by law..."

Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Chauhan said any encroachment on personal liberty by the state without following the procedure prescribed under law would violate the fundamental rights of the constitution.

While permitting the courts to order detention of a person already in jail, the court said that such an order could be passed only if there was "reliable material" to believe that there was a real possibility that his release on bail could affect public order.

(Continued)
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