In a recent decision (Shabna Abdulla v. The Union of India and others), the Kerala High Court ruled that a detainee cannot appeal a detention order issued against him on the grounds that certain documents were withheld from him if he cannot show that doing so caused him harm.
Anil K. Narendran and PG. Ajithkumar, sitting as a division bench, made it clear that a detainee cannot demand documents until he explains why and how they are necessary for his meaningful representation in the case.
The decision was made in response to a Habeas Corpus petition that asked for the release of Abdul Raoof, a detainee who had been held in accordance with the 1974 Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA Act).
This news is written by Ms. Amrita Singh, Research Assistant, All India Legal Forum.