Emerging Trends in Preventive Detention Laws in India: Perspectives from Lakshadweep
The article traces the presence of preventive detention laws throughout the course of Indian history and highlights the requirement and the justification for such laws. Since these laws are absolute laws and provide for the detention of a person who endangers either “public order” or the “security of the state” or adversely affects the “friendly relations with countries” the Judiciary has been highly active and its decisions have been favouring the individual rights as opposed to the might of the State, but the question remains to what extent the judiciary has been able to preserve and protect individual rights? To answer this question the trend in the usage of these laws becomes relevant which shed light on the direction where the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution are headed to. Observing this trend, we see the development of two narratives, on one side India is witnessing a movement concerning individuality and individual rights and on the other the State is imposing restriction on the fundamental freedoms. Thus, it remains to be seen to which side the balance of favour shall tip. A classic opportunity to understand this is presented in the form of the proposed preventive detention laws at Lakshadweep. The opportunity is unique because Lakshadweep is a place which is known for its scenic beauty and not for criminal activities. History has shown that preventive detention laws are utilized to tackle situations wherein the integrity of the nation is at stake, history has also shown that integrity can be at stake owing to external and internal factors. Towards the end of the article the necessity of preventive detention law in Lakshadweep shall be analyzed with respect to the prevalence of crime, nature of crime and incidents of crime. Also, the Police system shall be analyzed regarding its capability to tackle criminal activities. This shall present a clear picture of the state of affairs in Lakshadweep and shall serve as a good yardstick to gauge the utility of the preventive detention law and the motive of proposing such a law. Law must reflect the spirit of the people therefore, the law giver must be careful in the drafting of laws because the success and failure of the society rests in his hands. This remains to be seen in the case of Lakshadweep.