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Report No. 198

5.5 Harpreet Kaur's Case (Preventive detention) (1992)

This case, Harpreet Kaur v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1992 SC 779 arose under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers and Drug offenders Act (1981). An order of preventive detention was passed against the detenu for indulging in transportion of illicit liquor and keeping arms with him while transporting liquor.

He was also creating fear psychosis. Four witnesses, on condition of anonymity gave statements to the police and clearly stated that they would not depose against the detenu for fear of retaliation as the detenu had threatened to do away with anyone who would depose against him. The Supreme Court held that the activities of the detenu affected the even tempo of the society by creating a feeling of insecurity among those who were likely to depose against him as also the law enforcement agencies. The fear psychosis created by the detenu in the minds of the witnesses was aimed at letting the crime go unpunished. These activities, it was held, fell within section 2(a) of the Act, as to permit the detenu's preventive detention in the interests of maintaining 'public order'.



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