S. 12 of Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 2007 operates prospectively in regard to period of detention: Kerala High Court

Case Title: Prabhulla P. v. State of Kerala & ors.

Case No: WP(CRL.) No. 852 of 2023

Decided on:  3rd January, 2024


Facts of the Case

Initially, the detenu was detained invoking provision of the KAAPA in the year 2009. The last prejudicial activity was committed by the detenu on 15.11.2022 and he was arrested on the same day. The preliminary report was filed by the Station House Officer on 22.12.2022. The order was issued only on 10.04.2023. The detenu is under detention since 03.05.2023. The final report in Crime No.1483/2022 was filed on 20.06.2023.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that, based on amendment under Section 13 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the detenu cannot be detained by operation of amended provision for a period of one year, in view of the fact that the earlier detention was suffered by him, was based on un-amended provision under Section 12 of the KAAPA.


Whether detention order can be passed under Section 12 of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 2007 (hereinafter referred to as “the KAAPA”) detaining a person beyond six months in a case where such a detenu suffered detention prior to the amendment to Section 12?

Legal Provisions

Before the amendment, the Section 12 of the KAAPA reads as:

 “12. Maximum period of detention-The maximum period for which any person may be detained in pursuance of any detention order made under this Act, which has been confirmed under Section 10, shall not exceed six months from the date of detention.”

After the amendment in 2014, the Section 12 of the KAAPA reads as:

“12. Maximum period of detention – In pursuance of the first detention order made against any person under this Act and confirmed under Section 10, he may be detained for a period which may extend upto six months from the date of the detention and in pursuance of such subsequent detention order made against such person, he may be detained for a period which may extend up to a maximum of one year.”

Court’s analysis and decision

Section 12 of the KAAPA would operate only prospectively in regard to the period of detention. Earlier detention order was in the year 2009, that cannot be taken into account for imposing maximum one year detention after 31.12.2014.

There is no explanation for the considerable delay of five months in passing the detention order. The impuged order is set aside. The petitioner is ordered to be released forthwith, if it is not otherwise required under law.

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Written by- Afshan Ahmad

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