This article is written by Sudhakar Singh. This article provides a detailed analysis of the AK Gopalan case. In this case, the court has accepted the narrower scope of Article 19 and Article 21, which were later overturned by the Supreme Court itself. The article deals with the difference made by the court between “due process of law” in the American Constitution and “procedure established by law” in the Indian Constitution and the interpretation of the term “law”. 


Fundamental rights, which are frequently incorporated in constitutions and international human rights treaties, act as protection against the arbitrary use of detention. These rights include the right to personal liberty, a fair trial, freedom from torture and harsh treatment, and the ability to seek legal recourse. The integration of detention law and basic rights raises substantial issues pertaining to the boundaries of the authority of the state. The procedural protections are required to avoid abuse, and the remedy procedures are available in circumstances of wrongful confinement. Ensuring that detention methods correspond to fundamental rights is critical to preserving the rule of law and promoting the ideals of justice and dignity. 

The makers of the Indian Constitution intended to include preventive detention to serve exclusively as emergency legislation. Under ‘Entry 9 of List I’ of the Constitution of India, the Parliament has the exclusive power to enact a law for preventive detention for a reason connected with the defence, foreign affairs, or security of India. Impliedly, it can be said that preventative detention regulations are a result of a de facto “state of emergency.” A closer look indicates that the idea of “emergency” used in preventative detention significantly differs from the concept of “emergency”. Personal liberty is not an exception to the basic right. It puts limitations on the discretionary actions of Parliament, affecting the basic tenets of human rights. 

Download Now

In Parliamentary debates, R.K. Chaudhuri said that “maintenance of public order is an ordinary function of the police and the magistracy. Neither war has been declared, nor a state of emergency has been declared up till now. Therefore, we do not need any piece of legislation having a concept of preventive detention ‘to maintain public order’ in the country”. In A.K. Roy vs. Union of India (1981), the Court held that the National Security Act, 1980, is constitutional, but the extraordinary power of preventive detention should be narrowly construed. Detention without trial is an evil to be suffered, but to no greater extent and in no greater measure than is minimally necessary in the interest of the country and community.

Details of the case

  • Case name: A. K. Gopalan vs. State of Madras 
  • Petition No.:  XIII of 1950
  • Equivalent citations: MANU/SC/012/1950 
  • Act involved: Preventive Detention Act, 1950
  • Important provisions: Article 14, Article 19, and Article 21 of the Constitution of India 
  • Court: Honourable Supreme Court of India 
  • Bench: H.J. Kania C.J., M.Patanjali Sastri, Sudhi Ranjan Das, M.C. Mahajan, B.K. Mukherjee, and Saiyid Fazal Ali JJ.
  • Petitioner: AK Gopalan 
  • Respondents: State of Madras 
  • Judgement Date: 19.05.1950

Facts of AK Gopalan vs. State of Madras (1950)

Ak Gopalan was a prominent Communist leader in the State of Madras (present-day Tamil Nadu). On December 17, 1947, Ak Gopalan was arrested in Malabar for delivering violent speech in public. On 22nd April 1948, while the criminal proceedings were going on, a detention order was made under the Madras Maintenance of Public Order Act, 1949. This detention order was held illegal by the Madras High Court. On the same day, another order for detention was made by the government. The petitioner filed a writ petition of habeas corpus in Madras High Court. The petition was rejected on the ground that the petitioner did not get bail in any of the three cases; therefore, the order for detention is not illegal. On 23 February 1949, the petitioner was sentenced to six months of rigorous imprisonment in two of his criminal proceedings by the Magistrate. Later, his convictions were set aside. In another case, the petitioner was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment by the Sessions Judge of North Malabar, which was reduced to 6 months by the Madras High Court. Another writ petition of Habeas corpus was dismissed by the Madras High Court in January 1950. Meanwhile, the detention order under the Madras Maintenance of Public Order Act was cancelled, and another order of detention under Section 3(1) of the Preventive Detention Act was passed on 1st March 1950.

The petitioner approached the Supreme Court of India by filing a writ of habeas corpus under Article 32(1), challenging the legality of the order made under the Preventive Detention Act. He claimed that he had been detained in jail since 1947 and that another order for detention had been made by the State government, which violates his fundamental rights enshrined under Article 19, i.e., the right to movement, and Article 21, i.e., the right to life and personal liberty. He further claimed that he was not informed of the grounds of his arrest, which violates his fundamental rights enumerated under Article 22 of the Constitution. The state tried to justify the detention by contending that the order was made with the strength given under the Preventive Detention Act. 

Issues raised 

  • Whether the Preventive Detention Act is constitutional. 
  • Whether an order made under Section 3(1) of the Preventive Detention Act violates the provisions of Article 14, Article 19, and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. 
  • Whether other provisions of the Preventive Detention Act are in accordance with Article 22 of the Constitution.  
  • Whether ‘Procedure established by law’ in the Indian Constitution acquires the same meaning as ‘Due process of law’ in the American Constitution. 
  • Whether Article 19 and Article 21 are related.

Arguments of the parties 


The learned counsel for the petitioner argued that:

  • The state has ordered the detention of the petitioner, which violates the petitioner’s right to move throughout the territory of India. Therefore, the State must show that the order for detention has been made on reasonable grounds under Article 19(5). 
  • The term ‘Due process of law’ of the American Constitution holds the same meaning and makes no difference in the meaning of the interpretation of the expression ‘Procedure established by law’ of the Indian Constitution under Article 21.
  • The American Constitution provides both substantive and procedural protection. Whereas in India, only procedural protection is guaranteed.  
  • The word ‘law’ does not mean only laws enacted by the legislature. It was argued that the term ‘law’ means the principle of natural justice. It means ‘jus’ not ‘lex’, i.e., law, in the abstract meaning of the Principle of Natural Justice.


The learned attorney general for the respondent argued that:

  • The Preventive Detention Act does not violate Article 21 and is in accordance with Article 22 of the Indian Constitution.  
  • Learned Counsel argued that the procedure established by law had been appropriately followed, as Parliament is the competent authority to make laws related to detention following the legal procedure under ‘Entry 9 of List I’.
  • It was argued that the Preventive Detention Act does not violate any law as it is a result of the legal procedure followed by Parliament.  

Relevant laws and provisions

Constitutional provisions 

Article 19

Human beings have certain inherent, basic, and natural rights. Article 19 ensures such rights to the extent of citizens. It promotes the Democratic value and feeling of oneness and unity in the country. Indian citizens are guaranteed freedom under Article 19 of the Constitution. Freedom indicates the absence of control by the State. Article 19(1) specifies the matters in which citizens have the liberty to use their freedom, but their freedom is subject to the restrictions enumerated under Articles 19(2) to 19(6). 

Under Article 19(1), from clauses (a) to (g), citizens have six freedoms, i.e., speech and expression, freedom to peaceful assembly, associations, freedom of free movement, and the freedom to reside in any part of the country and practise their business and profession. According to the Supreme Court, though there are various rights that have not been expressly given under Article 19(1), they can be inferred from clauses (a) to (g), which implicitly include various human rights. 

The right to freedom of speech and expression is ensured under Article 19(1)(a), which means every citizen has the right to express their views and opinions on any issue through any medium. It includes freedom of communication and the right to propagate or publish opinions. This right is not absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2). Freedom of speech and expression cannot be exercised against the public order, morality, decency, sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, or friendly relations with foreign nationals. 

The right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(b). Such an assembly must be without arms. It does not confer on anyone the right to hold meetings on government premises or on the property of another. Article 19(3) puts reasonable restrictions on this right. To some extent, the grounds for restrictions are the same as those provided for in Article 19(1)(a). Citizens can form associations, unions, or cooperative societies under Article 19(1)(c). This right ensures the very important feature of the Indian Constitution, i.e., the parliamentary form of government. Without the right to form associations, no political parties can exist; therefore, this right is the very lifeblood of Indian democracy. To prevent the misuse of such a right, Article 19(4) puts reasonable restrictions on it and ensures that such a right cannot be exercised against the interests of public order, morality, or the sovereignty and integrity of India. Whereas, Articles 19(1)(d) and 19(1)(e) guarantee that citizens can move freely throughout the territory of India and can reside in any part of the territory of India. They can move from one state to another or from one place to another in a state. Article 19(5) ensures that the exercise of freedom of movement must not be against the interests of the general public or any scheduled tribes. Freedom to carry on trade, commerce, occupation, and business of one’s liking is ensured under Article 19(1)(g). However, under Article 19(6), the State can make any law in the interest of the general public. The State is not prohibited from making any law requiring professional or technical qualifications to carry on a specific trade, occupation, or business.  

Article 21

Article 21 is the source of many substantive and procedural safeguards for the person. In the Maneka Gandhi case, Krishna Iyer J. explains Article 21 as the procedural magna carta protective of life and liberty. The life and liberty of any person cannot be taken unless there is procedural fairness. The nexus between Article 14 and Article 21 emphasised that any procedure contemplated under Article 21 must pass the test of reasonableness. In Shantistar Builders vs. Narayan Khimalal Totame (1990), the Supreme Court held that under Article 21, the right to life includes various other rights, e.g., the right to food, clothing, a decent environment, and reasonable accommodation to live in. The difference between the need for shelter for humans and animals must be kept in mind while deciding on the right to life. For an animal, shelter is required for the bare protection of the body, whereas for humans, shelter must be a place for suitable accommodation where he can grow in physical, mental, and intellectual aspects. 

One of the most noteworthy expansions to Article 21 is that the right to life means the right to dignified human life and not merely an animal existence. This means that life under Article 21 is about more than just physical survival; it is also about providing a quality of life that allows people to live with dignity and self-esteem. As a result, various rights, including the right to privacy, the right to a clean environment, the right to health, and the right to education, have been recognized as essential components of the right to life. In Justice K.S. Puttaswamy vs. Union of India (2017), the right to privacy was accepted as a fundamental right of a person under Article 21. Similarly, the right to a clean environment was affirmed in the case of Subhash Kumar vs. State of Bihar (1991), acknowledging that environmental pollution that harms human health violates Article 21. Overall, Article 21 protects human dignity by ensuring that everyone lives a fulfilling and respectful life. It demonstrates the Indian Constitution’s dynamic nature as it adapts to evolving societal requirements and beliefs. Through its broad and expansive interpretation, Article 21 has become a cornerstone for defending people’s fundamental human rights in India.

Article 32 

The right of access to the Supreme Court under Article 32 is a fundamental right itself. Article 32 provides a guaranteed, quick, and summary remedy for enforcing fundamental rights so that a person can go straight to the Supreme Court without having to undergo the exhaustive proceeding from the lower to the higher court as in any ordinary litigation. The Supreme Court has thus been constituted as the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights. A person is guaranteed the right to move the Supreme Court under Article 32(1), by appropriate proceedings, for the enforcement of the fundamental rights enumerated in the Constitution. In addition to it, Article 32(2) empowers the Supreme Court to issue appropriate orders, directions, or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of the petitioner’s fundamental rights. A writ does not lie to create or establish a legal right, but to enforce a fundamental right that has already been established. However, such power of the Supreme Court is not exclusive, under Article 32(3), Parliament may empower any other Court to exercise within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court under Article 32(2). This can, however, be done without prejudice to the Supreme Court’s powers under Articles 32(1) and (2). 

Statutory provisions 

Section 12 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950 

Section 12 of the Preventive Detention Act of 1950 defines the validity and duration of detention in certain cases. It provides that an order for the detention of any person can be made for more than three months, but such an order must not exceed the period of twelve months. It provides that in cases of detention for more than three months, the opinion of the advisory board is not required. Such detention shall be made to prevent a person from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the state for the maintenance of public order, relations with foreign powers, defence of India, or security of India. It provides that the government can make an order for detention on any ground prescribed thereof. Therefore, it provides enormous power in the hands of the government to detain a person through a violation of certain basic rights. Section 12(2) provides that there should be a review of the detention order after six months, whether such an order is made by the Central government or the State government. 

Section 14 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950

Section 14 of the Preventive Detention Act of 1950 defines the authority of advisory boards in the context of preventive detention. The Act was designed to allow the government to hold people without trial to keep them from endangering the state’s security or public order. It incorporates provisions for reviewing cases by advisory boards. The advisory board restrains the detention power of authorities. Section 14 requires the Advisory Board to examine detention orders to determine if there is adequate justification for the individual’s continuing custody. If the Advisory Board determines that the detention of a person is unjustified, the detainee must be released immediately. If the board maintains the detention, the individual in question could be kept for the duration specified by the authorities. Section 14 therefore acts as a critical check on the executive’s authority to hold people without trial, ensuring that such actions are subject to court examination and adhere to the standards of justice and fairness. 

Principles of natural justice 

Natural justice is a common law principle. It ensures fairness, reasonableness, and equality for the person. It is a legal safeguard provided to persons to protect themselves from the arbitrary actions of administrative authorities. The principle of natural justice is considered as fundamental to the rule of law. Under the Indian Constitution, the principle of natural justice is embodied through various heads. Natural justice includes three basic principles: 

  • Nemo judex in causa sua: It is also known as the rule against bias. It means no person shall be a judge in his cause. The judge must be impartial while deciding the case. Biasness is of various types, mainly personal bias, pecuniary bias, subject matter bias, and policy notion bias. Other forms of bias include gender bias, racial bias, and religion-based bias. 
  • Audi Alteram partem: It is a Latin term which is also known as the Rule of Fair Hearing. It means no party should be unheard while deciding a case, or, in other words, judges shall listen to the other side before deciding the cases. It ensures fairness, openness, and accountability. It protects individuals’ rights by emphasising that a person should not be deprived of his life and liberty without being heard. 
  • Reasoned decision: It ensures that while deciding a case, judges must give their reason for arriving at such decisions. Judges should explain their decisions carefully and clearly. It helps parties understand the reason why their rights have been affected. It shows the logical thinking of judges to conclude their judgement.r court to exercise within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court under Article 32(2). This can, however, be done without prejudice to the Supreme Court’s powers under Articles 32(1) and (2). 

Judgement in AK Gopalan vs. State of Madras (1950)

The Supreme Court held that the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, is not in conflict with Article 19 of the Constitution. Article 19 does not include preventive or punitive detention. Accepting the petitioner’s position would nullify various criminal statutes that allow for punitive confinement, which violates the Constitution’s original objective. The court observed that Article 19(1) does not apply to persons whose freedom is limited by law and thus cannot be enforced. Therefore, the Preventive Detention Act of 1950 does not violate Articles 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The majority opinion (Kania C.J., Mukherjee, Das, Patanjali Sastri JJ.) was that Section 14 of the Act is unconstitutional for infringing the rights provided by Article 22(5) of the Constitution and is violative of Article 19(5). The court clarified that while Section 14 is ultra vires, it does not invalidate the whole Act of 1950. Because the section can be separated from the Act.

Minority opinion (Fazal Ali and Mahajan JJ.) held that Section 12 of the Act is also unconstitutional as it gives wide power to the government to make rules for detention. Such a power of government is inconsistent with the power conferred by the Constitution. Therefore, the detention of Gopalan should be held invalid as Article 21 differentiates between ‘personal liberty’ and freedom under Article 19(1). Article 19 ensures the liberties of the citizens of India. It ensures rights and control mechanisms. Whereas Article 21 extends protection to all persons (citizens and non-citizens). It is clear that there is a distinction between the provisions of Article 19 and Articles 20, 21, and 22. In order to determine whether a right is abridged or infringed, it is first necessary to determine the extent of the right given by the Articles and the limitations prescribed in the articles themselves permitting its curtailment.

Article 21 is a combination of procedural and substantive rights. The court interpreted “personal liberty” to include travel and residence inside Indian territory but not the extra freedoms provided in Article 19(1)(a) to (g). The court clarified that “personal liberty” refers to bodily freedom and is only partially guaranteed by Article 19, despite its narrow meaning. Article 22 covers many of the components of the Preventive Detention Act of 1950. The Apex Court upheld Section 3 of the Act and gave the government broad discretionary powers to confine any person. The court ruled that Sections 7 and 11 of the Preventive Detention Act of 1950 are also valid. Under Article 22(7)(b), parliament does not have the authority to establish a minimum period of detention. Articles 22(5) and 22(6) are given to protect the rights of detainees. The court held that Section 14 of the Act is unconstitutional since Article 22(5) provides that the detainee shall be communicated with the grounds of his detention.

Ratio decidendi 

The expression ‘procedure established by law’ means procedure prescribed by the law of the nation. The court observed that the Constituent Assembly would have done it if they felt the need to incorporate the expression ‘due process of law’. The constituent assembly had done it with purpose because they wanted to limit the boundaries of Article 21 to a certain extent by saying that a person should not be deprived of his life and personal liberty except by a procedure established by law.

In the argument that Article 19 and Article 21 should be read together, the Court was of the opinion that it should determine the true scope of Article 19 and its correlation with other Articles. It is useful to read Article 19 by itself. Article 19 gives substantive rights, whereas Article 21 is a procedural right. Article 19 confers rights only to the citizens of India, whereas protection of personal liberty is given to citizens as well as non-citizens. Article 19 ensures the right to move freely throughout the territory of India, which is a wholly different concept from the right to personal liberty. Article 21 has a broader meaning and covers many more rights that constitute personal liberty, e.g. freedom of speech can be a part of liberty [Article 19(1)(a)], but the right to hold property does not constitute a part of liberty [Article 19(1)(f); later, it was removed from Article 19]. But Article 21 is limited by the word ‘personal’ which means these rights are not covered under the expression ‘personal liberty’. There is no relation between Article 19 and Article 21. The subject matter of both the Articles is different, and they deal with the rights covered by their respective words from totally different angles. Article 19 is restricted on the grounds given under 19(2) to 19(5). Whereas Article 21 is restricted by the expression ‘procedure established by law’. The court observed that freedom of movement has nothing to do with personal liberty, as the Article has a restricted meaning. 

On Article 19, Das J. was of the opinion that Article 19(1) confers various rights to a person, but such rights cannot be exercised if a person has been convicted or has been detained under any law. He cannot take the ground that his freedom has been violated. The validity of the law cannot be judged under Article 19(5). On the same footing, Mahajan J. believed that any laws relating to preventive detention should not be governed under Article 19(5), as special provisions are given under Article 22. Fazal Ali J. was of dissenting opinion and said that preventive detention infringed on the rights given under Article 19(1)(d). Laws related to preventive detention can be a subject matter of limited judicial review, as provided under Article 19(5). 

The court held that the term ‘law’ in Article 21 means positive or state-made law. The term ‘Established’ in Article 21 means prescribed, and if Parliament or the State Legislature enacted a procedure for depriving a person of his personal liberty, it would be sufficient. Article 21 gives no protection if laws are made by competent legislative action in the field of substantive criminal law. 

Obiter dicta

The Supreme Court has highlighted the four-point distinction between Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and the Similar Clause in the American Constitution. 

The court said that:

  • In the American Constitution, the term ‘liberty’ is used plainly, whereas in the Indian Constitution, the term ‘personal liberty’ is used. 
  • In the American Constitution, the same protection has been given to property as that of life, whereas in India, the protection to property was given in Article 31. 
  • The word ‘due’ is removed, and ‘due process of law ‘ is not used with purpose. 
  • The term ‘established’ in India is limited to ‘procedure’ as used in Article 21. 

It does not mean that the word ‘law’ signifies the Universal Principle of Natural Justice. It was believed that Article 19 does not apply directly to any law that is related to preventive detention. Even if a law violates rights conferred under clauses (a), (d), (e), or (g) of Article 19(1), such a law cannot be declared invalid. Article 19(5) gives protection to such impugned acts. 

The court was of the opinion that Part III has given various different and separate rights. Articles 22(1) and (2) put restrictions on Article 21. If the authority has followed the procedure to make arrest and detention given under Articles 22(1) and (2), even if they infringe on the personal liberty of any person, it would be legal and valid. 

The expression ‘procedure established by law’ means any law that has been enacted by the State under its competence following the procedure prescribed by law. Such a law cannot be invalidated on the grounds that it consists of some right-infringing provisions. 

It was held that if any detention has been made under Article 22(3), then safeguards against such protection have been given under Articles 22(4) to (7) of Part III of the Indian Constitution.  

Kania C.J., Mahajan, and Das JJ. were of the opinion that Article 22(5) does not confer any right to give evidence or to make oral representation in court. Article 22(5) provides that as soon as an order for detention has been made, the authority shall communicate the grounds for detention to the detainee. It was said that Article 22(5) makes it mandatory to make representation of detained persons. Still, the Constitution does not provide to whom such detention should be made or how the representation should be made. Any law cannot be invalidated only on the ground that it does not provide a solution to these questions. 

Reading Article 22 with Article 246 and Schedule VII, list 1 entry 9, and list 3 entry 3, it is unambiguous that Parliament is empowered to make laws for detention for reasons connected with:

  • Defence
  • foreign affairs 
  • Security of India and Security of the State
  • Maintenance of public order and morality 
  • Essential supplies and support 

Critical analysis of AK Gopalan vs. State of Madras (1950)

Immediately after the Constitution was enacted, the question of the interpretation of the terms “procedure established by law “, “personal liberty “, “life”, and “law” arose. In the Ak Gopalan case, the interpretation of expression was to be done while determining the validity of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950. An attempt was made by Ak Gopalan to bring better procedural safeguards to detained persons than are available to him under the Preventive Detention Law and Article 22. AK Gopalan contended that ‘law’ under Article 21 incorporates the principle of natural justice. The reasonableness of preventive detention laws should be judged under Article 19. Along with it, the expression “procedure established by law” is the same as the concept of due process of law under the American Constitution, which determines the reasonableness of procedures enacted by State legislatures or Parliament. All such contentions were rejected, and the court gave a narrower meaning to the expressions “procedure established by law “, “personal liberty “, “life” and “law”. 

After the traumatic experience of an emergency, the Supreme Court accepted the liberal tendency in the matter of interpretation of fundamental rights, specifically Article 21. 

In the Maneka Gandhi case, the Constitution Bench has overruled the ratio given in the AK Gopalan case. The court laid down that Articles 14, 19, and 21 are not exclusive, and there is a nexus between these three Articles. Furthermore, any law prescribing the procedure for depriving a person of personal liberty must fulfil the requirements of Article 19, and such procedures must also satisfy the test of reasonableness under Article 14. In furtherance of it, the Court said that the term “personal liberty” is of the widest amplitude and includes a variety of rights that constitute the personal liberty of man. Personal liberty should not be read in a narrow and restricted sense so as to exclude the liberties provided under Article 19. In relation to the procedure established by law, the court was of the opinion that the procedure must satisfy the requisites of being fair and reasonable. The procedure cannot be arbitrary, unfair, or unreasonable. The test of reasonableness must be incorporated while determining the procedure contemplated under Article 21. The scope of preventive detention cannot only be examined under Article 22, but it must also satisfy Article 19, Article 20, Article 21, and Article 22 of the Indian Constitution.

According to Krishna Iyer J., “no fundamental rights is an island in itself. Just as a man is not dissectible into separate limbs, cardinal right is an organic constitution that has a synthesis.” 

Since the Maneka Gandhi case, the Supreme Court has given greater protection to the personal liberty of a person. 


In AK Gopalan vs. State of Madras, the Apex Court has given narrower meaning to the rights conferred under Article 19, Article 21, and Article 22. The majority opinion concluded that the term ‘law’ cannot be read with the rule of natural justice. This will give a vague and indefinite meaning to the Article. The law cannot be laid down on vague standards. Law does not mean abstract law. Being in detention, the rights of detention conferred under Article 19 should be justiciable under Articles 19(2) to 19(6). The case has deliberately narrowed the scope of the expression “procedure established by law” under Article 21, citing that the concept of reasonableness has varied from judge to judge, statute to statute, time to time, and subject to subject. That is why due process was not accepted by the founding fathers of the Constitution. The dissenting opinion of Fazal Ali J. was in favour of the rule of natural justice and the acceptance of due process of law under Article 21 of the Constitution. So far as Section 14 is concerned, Section 14 of the Preventive Detention Act was declared to be a violation of a fundamental right under Article 22, as it deprives the person of knowing the ground of his detention. Whereas, under Article 22(5), the authorities making the order for detention were directed to communicate the grounds of detention to the detenu. As communication of detention grounds enforces the right of the detenu to move court for representation against the order of detention and enforcement of his fundamental rights under Article 32(1) and (2), the Court clarified its stance on the validity of the Act and ordered that the Act remain valid except for Section 14 of the Preventive Detention Act of 1950.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which case takes the broader interpretation of Article 21, protection of life and personal liberty?

Ak Gopalan vs. State of Madras has defined ‘personal liberty’ in a narrower way. Later, Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India opened a broad scope of Article 21, and later, the jurisprudence of personal liberty was developed by the Apex Court through various cases. 

Why is the AK Gopalan case also known as the preventive detention case?

The case mainly discussed the validity of the preventive detention of Communist leader Ak Gopalan, and the validity of the Preventive Detention Act was upheld in this case. This is the reason the AK Gopalan case is also known as a preventive detention case.

When and why was the Preventive Detention Act repealed?

The Preventive Detention Act was repealed in 1969 as it was opposed by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.


  • https://www.thakur-foundation.
  • JN PANDEY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF INDIA, (2024) by Central Law Agency 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here