22. Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.—(1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.

(2) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.

(3) Nothing in clauses (1) and (2) shall apply—
(a) to any person who for the time being is an enemy alien; or
(b) to any person who is arrested or detained under any law providing for preventive detention.

(4) No law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months unless—
(a) an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as, Judges of a High Court has reported before the expiration of the said period of three months that there is in its opinion sufficient cause for such detention:
Provided that nothing in this sub-clause shall authorise the detention of any person beyond the maximum period prescribed by any law made by Parliament under sub-clause (b) of clause (7); or
(b) such person is detained in accordance with the provisions of any law made by Parliament under sub-clauses (a) and (b) of clause (7).

(5) When any person is detained in pursuance of an order made under any law providing for preventive detention, the authority making the order shall, as soon as may be, communicate to such person the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.

(6) Nothing in clause (5) shall require the authority making any such order as is referred to in that clause to disclose facts which such authority considers to be against the public interest to disclose.


(7) Parliament may by law prescribe—
(a) the circumstances under which, and the class or classes of cases in which, a person may be detained for a period longer than three months under any law providing for preventive detention without obtaining the opinion of an Advisory Board in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause (a) of clause (4);
(b) the maximum period for which any person may in any class or classes of cases be detained under any law providing for preventive detention; and
(c) the procedure to be followed by an Advisory Board in an inquiry under sub-clause (a) of clause (4).

Although Article 21 does not impose a limitation on the legislature in so far as the deprivation of life or personaly liberty is concerned, yet a legislative Act providing for such deprivation is subject to the procedureal safeguards provided in Article 22 and if it does not provide for any of these safeguards it shall be declared unconstitutional. However, Article 22 does not apply uniformly to all persons and makes a distinction between:

  • alien enemies,
  • person arrested or detained under preventive detention law, and
  • other

So far as alien enemies are concerned the article provides no protection to them. So far as persons in category (c) are concerned, it provides the following rights (These rights are not given to persons detained under preventive detention law).

  • A person who is arrested cannot be detained in custody unless he has been informed, as soon as he may be, of the grounds for such
  • Such person shall have the right to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner of his
  • A person who is arrested and detained must be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest, excluding the time of journey. And such a person shall not be detained in custody beyond twenty-four hours without the authority of
Preventive Detention

Preventive detention means detention of a person without trial. The object of preventive detention is not to punish a person for having done something but to prevent him from doing it. No offence is proved nor any charge formulated and yet a person is detained because he is likely to commit an act prohibited by law. Parliament has the power to make a law for preventive detention for reasons connected with defence, foreign affairs or the security of India. Parliament and State Legislatures are both entitled to pass a law of preventive detention for reasons connected with the security of State, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community.

Safeguards against Preventive Detention

Article 22 (amended by the 44th Constitution Amendment Act, 1978) contains following safeguards against preventive detention:

  • such a person cannot be detained for a longer period than three months unless:
    • An Advisory Board constituted of persons who are or have been or are qualified to be High Court judges has reported, before the expiration of the said period of three months that there is, in its opinion sufficient cause for such
    • Parliament may by law prescribe the maximum period for which any person may in any class or classes of cases be detained under any law providing for preventive detention and the procedure to be followed by an Advisory
  • The authority ordering the detention of a person under the preventive detention law shall:
    • communicate to him, as soon as may be, the grounds on which the order for his detention has been made, and
    • afford him the earliest opportunity of making the representation against the

It may, however, be noted that while the grounds for making the order are to be supplied, the authority making such order is not bound to disclose those facts which it considers to be against the public interest.

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