//Kerala ordinance soon on preventive detention

Kerala ordinance soon on preventive detention

The Hindu , Dec 14, 2006

Maximum detention of 6 months subject to review within 21 days of arrest

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to bring an ordinance to provide for preventive detention of persons engaging in anti-social activities.

The Kerala Antisocial Activities (Prevention) Ordinance will provide for a maximum detention of six months subject to a review within 21 days of the arrest.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media that the law would be used against bootleggers, fake note mafia, forest mafia and dealers of pirated compact discs (CDs), traffickers of women and drugs, hawala operators, moneylenders charging high interest rates and goons.

The Minister said that unlike the Felonious Activities (Prevention) Ordinance brought out by the previous Government, the new ordinance would have clear provisions to prevent its misuse. Public men, trade union activists and others engaged in public campaigns would be excluded from the purview of the Act.

The Deputy Inspector-General of Police or Collector could order the detention of known offenders on the basis of a report of the Superintendent of Police concerned. The detention would be reviewed within 21 days of the arrest by a committee headed by a serving or retired High Court judge. Persons qualified to be judges of the High Court would be members of the committee.

He said that in case of wrongful detection, the police officer concerned would have to pay a fine of Rs.1,000 a day of detention. The committee would impose such fines. Officers would be required to follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court during arrests.