Shillong: Meghalaya High Court on Wednesday set aside the West Garo Hills district administration`s order of detention of terrorist outfit Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) chief Champion R Sangma on technical grounds.
The detention order was made under the Meghalaya Preventive Detention Act (MPDA) but the district authorities did not inform Champion about his rights and failed to bring the state government`s approval on the order before the mandatory period.
Champion, a former policeman, had been booked under MPDA by magistrates of East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills districts on January 29 and 30 respectively.
Their contention was that if Champion was allowed to remain free, this would affect security of the state and maintenance of public order in the districts.
Under the MPDA Act, a person can be detained for a maximum period of three years and the accused can get bail only after a government advisory board decides on the matter.
After the high court set aside the West Garo Hills district order, Champion`s counsel Sujit Dey said they would challenge the other order when it would be heard on Friday.
Earlier on January 11, the GNLA chief was granted bail on two cases as the government failed to file a charge-sheet in the criminal cases against him within 90 days in Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills.
The GNLA has been categorised as a terror organisation by the Centre in January.
Formed in 2010, the GNLA is active in three western Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya and in pockets of West Khasi Hills district.