Judges : Ayyangar, N. Rajagopala
Judgement Date : 18 December, 1962
The petitioner was challenged in a dacoity case but was released as there was no evidence against him. The police opened a history sheet against him and also put him under surveillance as defined in Regulation 236 of the U.P. Police Regulations.
Surveillance involves secret picketing of the houses of the suspects, domiciliary visits at night , periodical enquiries by officers not below the rank of Sub-Inspector into repute, habits, association, income, expenses and occupation , the reporting by constables and chaukidars of movements and absences from home .
Contention by Appellant
The Appellant filed a writ petition under Article 32 in which he challenged the constitutional validity of Chapter XX of U.P. Police Regulations, in which Regulation 236 also occurs.
Contention by Respondent
The respondent contended that the impugned Regulations did not constitute an infringement of any of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution, and even if they were, they had been framed in the interests of the General Public and public order and to enable the police to discharge its duty in a more efficient manner , and hence were reasonable restrictions on that freedom.
Principle laid down
It was held that out of the five kinds of surveillance referred to in Regulation 236, the part dealing with domiciliary visits was violative of Article 21 of the Constitution.
‘Personal liberty’ comes within the meaning of Article 21.
Article 21 means not merely the right to the continuance of a person’s existence.
The part of Regulation 236 dealing with domiciliary visits as violative of Article 21 must be struck down as unconstitutional.
The Petitioner was entitled to a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondent not to continue.
The other matters constituting surveillance were not unconstitutional.
Dissected by Suyash Tripathi