Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of United Kingdom:  A five-Judge bench comprising Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Black, Lord Lloyd Jones, JJ. disposed of this matter.

The facts involved a patient PJ, a 47-year-old who suffered from a mild borderline learning disability, accompanied by aggressive behavior and seriously irresponsible behavior. The Mental Health Act, 1983 was so amended that it allowed patients like him to be introduced in the community with a Community Treatment Order (CTO) issued by a Responsible Clinician (RC). PJ’s contention before the Mental Health Review Tribunal was that the arrangements under CTO amounted to an unlawful deprivation of liberty due to excessive monitoring and boundaries. The MHRT upheld the CTO stating that the need for CTO preceded any human rights issues. The Court of Appeals stated that the restriction of movement was such that it amounted to a violation of personal liberty, however, MHRT has no power to discharge the CTO, thus the appeal lies before the Supreme Court. The Court held the CTO to be in contravention of personal liberty since the RC has no power to impose such conditions which restrict movement. The appeal was allowed.[Welsh Ministers v. PJ, [2019] 2 WLR 82, decided on 17-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of SC Dharmadhikari and Bharati H. Dangre, JJ issued a writ of habeas corpus ordering the release of the petitioner’s son, who had been illegally detained in unlawful continued judicial custody for more than sixty days. The detenu had been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Economic Offences Wing on 19-09-2017.

Following multiple remand applications requesting extension of custody of the detenu, the total detention period exceeded the maximum limit of sixty days on 23-11-2017. Under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a Judicial Magistrate is entitled to authorize a detention not exceeding 60 days for all offences, unless the offence is punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a period of at least ten years.

Though the prosecution contended that the charges framed against the detenu during the course of investigation involved offences that were punishable with death, with life imprisonment or with imprisonment for at least ten years, the Court held the detention beyond the period of 60 days to be in contravention of S. 167(2) CrPC and also violative of the right to life and personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. [Rajkumar Bhagchand Jain v. Union of India,  2017 SCC OnLine Bom 9435, order dated 08-12-2017]