What do you mean by ‘colourable exercise of power’ in relation to preventive detention?

A detention order may be quashed on the ground of colourable exercise of power if there is no rational material for the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority, or that the material is such that no reasonable person could possibly arrive at such satisfaction on its basis.

A considerable delay, say of two or three months, between the date of making the detention order and the arrest of the person concerned thereunder has been held to throw doubt on the genuineness of the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority. For it authority was genuinely satisfied that it was necessary to detain the person concerned so as to prevent him from committing prejudicial activities, then the authority should act promptly to arrest him after making the order and not let him remain at large to carry on his objectionable activities. Therefore, if the authority fails to furnish a reasonable explanation for the delay, the subjective satisfaction may be inferred to be ‘colourable’ and not genuine.

Write about the doctrine of stare decisis.

The doctrine of stare decisis or precedents is the distinguishing characteristic of the English common law. It envisages that judicial decisions have a binding force for the future. The doctrine of stare decisis in Britain envisages that the lower courts are bound by the decisions of the higher courts and, thus, every court in Britain is bound by the decisions of the House of Lords. The Indian Judicial system is also characterized by a scheme of hierarchy of courts, the Supreme Court being the Apex Court and, therefore, the doctrine of binding precedent is the cardinal feature of the Indian Legal System.

The Indian Constitution specifically and unequivocally lays down this proposition in Article 141 which says that “the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India.” Thus, all courts are bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court. The law declared by the Supreme Court is the law of the land. Judgments of the Supreme Court constitute a source of law.

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