Case Number:

Letters Patent Appeal No. 699 of 2021 in Special Civil Application No. 6853 of 2021


Chief Justice Vikram Nath

Justice Biren Vaishnav

Date of Judgment:


Relevant Acts:

Gujarat Prohibition Act, 1949

Gujarat Prevention of Anti-social Activities Act, 1985

Facts of the Case:

The appellant being in jail was detained according to the provisions of the Gujarat Prohibition Act under Sections 66(1)(b), 65(a), 65(e), 116-B, 98(2), and 81 concerning the order dated on April 06, 2021, in the backdrop of registration of offenses against the appellant.

Contentions were raised under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution about the detention of the appellant stating that the appellant was arraigned in the offenses where he does not fall within the scope of the definition of “Bootlegger” section 2(b) of the Gujarat Prevention of Anti-social Activities Act, 1985.

Advocate Mohddanish M. Barejia, representing the appellant-detenue, argued that the detenu does not fit the definition of a “bootlegger” as defined by Section 2(b) of the Gujarat Prevention of Anti-social Activities Act, 1985, and that there was no violation of the law, indicating “public order,” entailing his detention.

Assistant Government Pleader Shruti Pathak rejected the prayer, claiming that the detaining authority’s powers and procedural precautions were not designed to allow people to continue criminal acts, and thus the detention was justified and is in accordance with the law’s procedures.

The issue before the High Court:

Whether the subjective satisfaction exercised by the detaining authority deserves no interference?

Whether there was any disturbance of public because a solitary offense has been registered against the detenue?

The ratio of the Case:

In the case of Aartiben W/o Nandubhai Jayantibhai Sujnani vs. Commissioner of Police in L.P.A. No.2732 of 2010, the court cited a clear distinction made by the Supreme Court between public and law.

The court stated that the term “public order” implies that not every assault or harm to a specific person results in public disorder. Any law infringement impacts order, but before it can be called to affect public order, it must affect the community or the general public at large. Thus, a simple disturbance of law and order that leads to disruption is not always adequate for proceedings under the Preventive Detention Act, but a disturbance that will impact public order qualifies.

Based on a detailed examination of the order of detention, which includes the grounds for the custody and the materials on record, the Court examined the contentions, albeit the Court was hesitant to interfere with the detaining authority’s subjective satisfaction.

The decision of the Court:

The Court stated that based on the facts of the case and an examination of the law, the appellant could not be classified as a bootlegger. The Court decided that numerous instances could not designate a person as a bootlegger in this case because there is only one FOR connected to prohibition offenses.

The appeal of the Letters Patent has been granted. The learned Single Judge’s judgment and ruling in Special Civil Applications No.6853 of 2021, dated June 24, 2021, was quashed and set aside by the Division Bench and the appellant was ordered to be set free if not wanted for any other offense.

The present article has been written by Aathira Pillai.

The present article has been edited by Shubham Yadav, a 4th-year from Banasthali Vidyapith.

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