08 Jun 2121

When the respondent withdrew the previous externment proceedings based on the same material, there was no need to start the new procedures based on the same material - Bombay High Court

Case : Shri Jeetendra Ashok Bhosale v. the Divisional Commissioner Council Hall, Pune Criminal Writ Petition No. 1683 of 2021

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice S. S. Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale

Decided on : 08 Jun 2121

The Relevant Statutes

Section 60, 56 (1) (a), 56 (1) (b) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951

Section 324, 323, 504, 427, 34, 500, 504, 504(6)(1) 387, 452, 506, 116 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 

Brief Facts & Procedural History

1. The petitioner claims that the respondents issued an externment order based on the identical material that was used to start the externment proceedings that were later withdrawn. The petitioner was served with a show-cause notice. The petitioner claims that a previous show-cause notice was sent to him, together with an externment order, stating why he should not be externed from the region specified in the notice.

2. The procedures were started in response to the stated notification, but they were later dropped. The Assistant Commissioner of Police issued yet another notice. Following that, the Deputy Commissioner of Police sent notice to the petitioner based on the Assistant Commissioner of Police's report. Respondent No.3 issued the impugned externment order after hearing the parties, expelling the petitioner for two years from the region specified in the notice and the impugned decision.

3. The petitioner filed an appeal under section 60 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, coupled with a stay motion, after being aggrieved by the judgement. The petitioner's appeal was dismissed by the appellate authority. As a result, the present petition is filed. 

The Issue of the Case

Whether the impugned order dated 6 January 2021 is valid?

The Observations of the Court

1. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay observes that the first of the aforementioned four offences were committed in the year 2014, while the fourth, which was committed in 2018. The contested order of externment was issued in 2021. The challenged decision cannot be lawfully supported based on the registration of the aforementioned offences in the absence of discussion demonstrating that there is a living relationship between the externment proceedings launched by the respondent-authority and registration of the said offences. In the year 2020, the aforementioned two non-cognizable offences are also reported.

2. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay also observes that there no discussion in the challenged order made by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IV, that witnesses are unwilling to come forward to give testimony in public against the petitioner owing to the petitioner's fear of their safety and property. The mandate of sections 56 (1) (a) and 56 (1) (b) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 can only be fulfilled by assigning reasons that the witnesses are unwilling to come forward to give evidence in public against the externee due to apprehensions about the safety of their person or property as a result of the externee's alleged activities.

3. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay also observes that the externment order carefully and discovered that there is a passing reference to the testimonies of claimed witnesses A and B, but no date or particular occurrence is specified in the assailed order. There is simply a broad conversation going on. The petitioner appears to have been expelled from the Pimpri Chinchwad Commissionerate, Pune city, and Pune district. Although the respondent–authority has the power to expel the proposed externee from the concerned district and neighbouring districts, it is required to provide reasons for such expulsion from adjacent Talukas or Districts where the prospective externee has committed no offence. However, there is no mention of this in the contested order.

The Decision Held by the Court

The High Court of Judicature at Bombay held that the impugned order of externment dated 6 January 2021 bearing No.03/2021, issued by Respondent No.3, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-IV, Pune City, Pune, and confirmed in appeal by Respondent No.1 in Externment/Appeal/SR/EA 5/2021, is quashed and set aside.

Click here to view/download the judgement >