State authorities are completely unaware of the distinction between “law and order” and “public order.” – Gujarat High court

TITLE: Girjashankar V State of Gujarat

Decided On-: 02/08/2023

11079 of 2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Mr. A.S Supehia and M.R Mengdey

INTRODUCTION- The purpose of the current petition is to contest the detention order made by the respondent, who is the detaining authority, in accordance with the authority granted by section 3(1) of the Gujarat Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act, 1985 According to Act section 2(c), the petitioner-detenu was held in custody.


 The impugned order of detention of the detenu needed to be quashed and overturned because the detaining authority had made the decision to detain the detenu solely on the basis of the registration of two FIRs, which is insufficient to bring the detenu’s case within the meaning of section 2(c) of the Act. A knowledgeable attorney for the petitioner further argued that any illegal activity that is likely to be committed or is alleged to have been committed cannot be connected to or have anything to do with maintaining public order; at most, it can be considered a violation of law and order.

In addition, other than witness statements and the filing of the aforementioned FIRs, there is no other pertinent or convincing evidence linking the alleged anti-social behaviour of the detainee to a breach of public order. The eminent advocate further argued that it was impossible to conclude from the facts of the case that the detainees’ involvement in criminal cases had disrupted and damaged society’s social fabric, eventually posing a threat to detainees’ ability to lead normal, everyday lives and had thrown the entire social system into disarray.

By disrupting public order, it is difficult for the entire system to function as one that is governed by the rule of law.


The learned AGP for the respondent-State supported the detention order issued by the authority and argued that enough information and evidence discovered during the course of the investigation and provided to the detainee indicate that the detainee is habitually engaging in the activity as defined under Section 2(c) of the Act. Taking these facts into account, the learned AGP for the respondent-State argued that the detention order issued by the authority and detention order

Primarily, it is determined that the subjective satisfaction reached by the detaining authority cannot be said to be legal, valid, and in accordance with law, inasmuch as the offences alleged in the FIR/s cannot have any bearing on the public order as required under the Act and other relevant penal laws re sufficient enough to take care of. After hearing the learned advocates for the parties and considering the documents and material available on record of the case.

It seems that the state authorities frequently disregard the aforementioned settled principle of law and issue orders without understanding that human freedom is unalienable and cannot be limited or curtailed unless the detention is absolutely necessary and the detainee’s behaviour interferes with “public order.” This Court has also observed that the state authorities are completely unaware of the distinction between “law and order” and “public order.”

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Written by-  Steffi Desousa

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