The distinction between a disturbance to ‘law and order’ and a disturbance to ‘public order’ has been clearly settled by a Constitution Bench in Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar, AIR 1966 SC 740. Court has held, every ‘disorder’ does not meet threshold of a disturbance to ‘public order’, unless it affects community at large.
Banka Sneha Sheela v. State of Telangana, (2021) 9 SCC 415 examined a similar factual situation of an alleged offence of cheating gullible persons as a ground for Preventive Detention under The Telangana Act of 1986. Court held, such an apprehension cannot meet standards prescribed for a Preventive Detention unless there is a demonstrable threat to maintenance of ‘public order’.
Sama Aruna v. State of Telangana, (2018) 12 SCC 150 held, a Preventive Detention Order passed without examining a ‘live and proximate link’ is tantamount to punishment without trial.
The case at hand is a clear example of non-application of mind to material circumstances. In last 5 years, this Court has quashed over 5 Detention Orders under The Telangana Act of 1986 for inter alia incorrectly applying standard for maintenance of ‘public order’.
– Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Mallada K. Sri Ram v. State of Telengana, [Criminal Appeal No. 561 of 2022].