Drug Abuse Ramification Unimaginable, Irreversible: HC 

Srinagar—Sending a tough signal, the J&K high court on Friday dismissed a petition by a woman drug peddler, seeking quashment of detention order under PSA issued by divisional commissioner Kashmir last year.   

“It is not a number of acts that are to be determined for detention of an individual but it is impact of the act which is material and determinative. In the instant case the act of detenue (woman) relates to drug trafficking, which has posed serious threat, apart from health and welfare of the people, to youth, most particularly unemployed youth, to indulge in such acts, ramifications thereof would be irreversible and unimaginable,” a bench of Justice M K HAnjura said while dismissing a petition filed by Afrooza Begum alias Afri wife of Fayaz Ahmad Dar of Ganie Hamam, Baramulla against an order under preventive detention and ordering her lodgement in Central Jail, Srinagar. “Petitioner has not been able to convincingly point out violation of any statutory or constitutional provisions,” the court added. 

Afri was arrested by Baramulla police along with another drug peddler in September last year.  

According to police, the detained drug smugglers were active in the narcotic trade since last several years and had been responsible for spoiling life of scores of youth in the area. 

While giving details about the arrested drug smugglers, a senior police officer had said that both were getting consignment of Charas from south Kashmir and Sopore and latter they used to sell it at Baramulla. 

“Preventive detention is an anticipatory measure and does not relate to an offence, while the criminal proceedings are to punish a person for an offence committed by him. They are not parallel proceedings. The object of law of preventive detention is not punitive but only preventive. It is resorted to when the Executive is convinced that such detention is necessary in order to prevent the person detained from acting in a manner prejudicial to certain objects which are specified by the concerned law,” the court said. “The action of the Executive in detaining a person being only precautionary, normally the matter has necessarily to be left to the discretion of the executive authority. It is not practicable to lay down objective rules of conduct in an exhaustive manner, the failure to conform to which should lead to detention. The satisfaction of the detaining authority, therefore, is considered to be of primary importance, with great latitude in the exercise of its discretion. The detaining authority may act on any material and on any information that it may have before it. Such material and information may merely afford basis for a sufficiently strong suspicion to take action, but may not satisfy the tests of legal proof on which alone a conviction for offence will be tenable.”

The court further said that the compulsions of the primordial need to maintain order in society, without which the enjoyment of all rights, including the right of personal liberty of citizens, would lose all their meanings, are true justification for laws of prevention detention. “Laws, that provide for preventive detention, posit that an individual's conduct prejudicial to maintenance of public order or to the security of State or corroding financial base provides grounds for satisfaction for a reasonable prognostication of possible future manifestations of similar propensities on the part of the offender.” The court further said that it was pertinent to point out here that it is not to be seen that how many times the detainee indulged in an act but it is to be realised that what is its impact and ramification on the social fabric of the society. 

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