Justice Served: Bombay High Court Upholds Detention Order Under MPDA Act

Title: Mohsin Anwar Khan @ Shaikh v. Commissioner of Police, Pune & Ors.

Decided on: 30th AUGUST, 2023




This case involves a petition filed to challenge a detention order issued against the petitioner. The order, dated February 24, 2023, was passed by the Commissioner of Police, Pune, under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons, Video Pirates, Sand Smugglers, and Persons engaged in Black-marketing Essential Commodities Act, 1981 (MPDA Act). The order was based on allegations from a Criminal Case (CR) registered on November 4, 2022, against the petitioner for offenses under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Maharashtra Police Act, and Arms Act. The petitioner was accused of threatening and assaulting individuals with weapons. The detaining authority also relied on in-camera statements from witnesses regarding incidents in October 2022.


  1. Whether there was a delay in issuing the detention order, rendering it invalid?
  2. Whether the in-camera statements were valid due to the time gap between incidents and the date of the order?


The petitioner claimed that the order was delayed as the incidents and in-camera statements were several months before the detention order. However, the government’s response detailed the steps taken to verify the statements and scrutinize the proposal. The court found that the order was issued within a reasonable timeframe, considering the events and verification process. The petitioner argued that the allegations were individual and not a threat to public order. The detaining authority asserted that the petitioner’s actions caused fear and terror among the public, justifying the detention. The court analyzed the incidents mentioned and concluded that they created a public order issue due to the petitioner’s intimidating and threatening actions. The state opposes this, arguing that the petitioner’s actions, including assaults, extortion, and threats, created fear and a sense of terror within the community, thus posing a risk to public order.

The petitioner also argues that the witnesses against them in the CR have a history of animosity, undermining the credibility of their statements. The state, on the other hand, stands by the witnesses’ testimonies, stating that they provide a valid basis for the detention.

The petitioner questioned the authenticity of in-camera statements. The government explained the procedural steps taken to verify the statements’ genuineness. The court acknowledged that the statements were recorded while the petitioner was in custody and found the process satisfactory in establishing the validity of the statements.


The court dismissed the petitioner’s claims, ruling that there was no undue delay in issuing the detention order. The court also held that the allegations against the petitioner were of public order concern due to the intimidating and threatening nature of the incidents. The court upheld the reliability of the in-camera statements, finding the verification process sufficient. Consequently, the petition was rejected, and the detention order remained in effect.

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Written by- Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

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