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AKGopalanvStateofMadras(PreventiveDetentionCase)
Posted By: Suresh Khadav on: March 05, 2016 In: Case Briefs, Library, Miscellaneous 1 Comment

PREVENTIVE DETENTION ACT, 1950 INTRA VIRES THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ITS SECTION 14 (Preventive
Detention Case)
Case Law: AK Gopalan v State of Madras
Citation: AIR 1950 SC 27: 1950 SCR 88: 1950 SCJ 174
Judges: M.H. Kania CJ and Saiyid Fazl Ali, M. Patanjali Sastri, Mehr Chand Mahajan, B.K. Mukherjea and S.R. Das, JJ
Date of Decision: 19-5-1950
Facts: This was a petition by the applicant under article 32 of the constitution of India for a writ of habeas corpus against his
detention in the Madras jail. In the petition he had given various dates showing how he had been under detention since December
1947. He had been sentenced to imprisonment but the convictions were set aside. While he was thus under detention under to
imprisonment but the convictions were set aside. While he was thus under detention under one of the orders of the Madras State
st

Government, on 1 March, 1950 he was served with an Order of the Madras State Government under section3(1) of Preventive
Detention Act,1950. He challenged the legality of the order as it was contended that 1950 Act contravenes the provisions of article
13, 19 and 21 and provisions of that Act were not in accordance with article 22 of the Constitution. He had also challenged the
validity of the order on the ground that it had been issued mala de. The burden of proving that allegation was on the applicant.
Because the applicant had not disclosed the grounds, supplied to him for his detention and the question of mala des of the order,
therefore, could not be gone into under the petition.
The question of the validity of the Preventive Detention Act was argued before the Supreme Court at a great length. This was rst
case in which different articles of the Constitution of India contained in the Fundamental Rights Chapter had come for discussion.
Issues: Whether the Preventive Detention Act, 1950 ultra vires Fundamental Rights under Constitution.
Held: It was held that the Preventive Detention Act, 1950 was ultra vires the Constitution of India with the exception of section 14
which is illegal and ultra vires. The validity of section 14 does not affect the rest of the provisions in the Act. Section 12 of the Act also
does not conform to the provisions of the Constitution of India and is therefore ultra vires. It was further held that article 21 is
applicable to preventive detention and Prevention Detention Act, 1950 permits detention beyond a period of three months and
excludes the necessity of consulting an advisory board if the opening words of clause (7) of article 22 are complied with sub clause
(b) of said article is permissible. It is not obligatory on the Parliament to prescribe any maximum period.

Case Brief prepared by Priyanka Khare


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