The Allahabad High Court emphasized that the State cannot review or extend a detention order passed under Section 12(1) of the National Security Act, 1980, which prescribes a particular period of detention.

The writ petition concerned the quashing of a series of detention orders against the petitioner. Initially detained under the NSA, the petitioner's detention was extended multiple times.

A Division Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Anish Kumar Gupta held “In the instant case, the confirmatory order has been passed on 9.5.2023 whereby the petitioner herein was directed to be detained for a period of three months from the initial detention order i.e. 20.4.2023. Therefore, after the expiry of three months the petitioner's detention becomes illegal and he is liable to be released forthwith.

Senior Advocate Anoop Trivedi appeared for the Petitioners and Advocate Arvind Singh appeared for the Respondents.

The petitioner's counsel argued that the orders extending detention beyond the initial three months (as prescribed by the confirmatory order) were illegal since the state lacks the authority to review or extend the detention beyond what was specified in the initial confirmatory order.

The State's counsel, however argued that the state can extend the detention beyond three months at a time.

The Court upheld the petitioner's argument, stating that once a confirmatory order is passed under Section 12(1) of the NSA, the state cannot review or extend it. Thus, the detention beyond the initially specified period was illegal.

The Court added, “If in the confirmatory order any particular period of detention is prescribed by the State Government such detention order is valid only for that period. If no period of detention is prescribed in an order passed under Section 12 (1) of the Act, then, such detention will be for a maximum period of 12 months as prescribed under Section 13 of the Act. However, once an order under Section 12 (1) is passed by the State Government prescribing a period of detention, the said order cannot be reviewed or extended by the State Government. Such detention will be over after the expiry of the period prescribed in the confirmatory order 3 of 4 passed under Section 12(1) of the Act. The said order cannot be reviewed or extended any further. However, the Detaining authority i.e., the State Government or the District Magistrate, may pass a fresh order in terms of Section 3(2) of the Act, if the circumstances so demand. Such detention order has to be confirmed again following the procedure prescribed under Sections 3, 10, 11 and 12 of the Act.

The Court ordered the immediate release and dismissed any orders regarding the petitioner 2, who was not the detenue.

Cause Title: Mohd. Asim & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors., [2024:AHC:21911-DB]


Petitioners: Advocates Anoop Trivedi, Ramesh Chandra Agrahari

Respondents: Advocates Arvind Singh, Archana Singh

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