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Order of Externment and Infringement on Fundamental Rights 

Order of Externment

Context: The Supreme Court has made it clear that authorities can only issue an order of Externment against an individual in truly exceptional situations.

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What is the Order of Externment?

Externment is a system that restricts individuals from accessing specific areas for a set period due to their previous involvement in criminal activities that could impact the well-being of that place. An Externment order places limitations on the person it’s issued against, preventing them from entering a particular region. The authority to grant Externment powers to law enforcement agencies is outlined in various statutes like The Maharashtra Police Act (MPA) 1951, Punjab Security of State Act 1953, Assam Maintenance of Public Order Act 1947, and Karnataka Police Act, among others.

What is the Need of Order of Externment?

To uphold peace and harmony in our communities and to establish regulations that deter criminal behavior, we work diligently to maintain law and order. Our primary goal is to keep our streets safe and prevent unlawful actions.

What is the Supreme Court Observation on Order of Externment?

The Supreme Court has emphasized that the use of externment is not an everyday tool and should be employed judiciously, especially in exceptional situations. This order has a significant impact, as it restricts a citizen’s fundamental right to move freely within India, potentially even affecting their ability to make a living. Therefore, the discretion to issue such an order should be exercised with great caution, considering the profound implications it has on an individual’s right to move freely throughout the country.

How Court Relates the Case with Fundamental Right?

According to Article 19(1)(d) of the Indian Constitution, citizens have the fundamental right to move freely within India. However, Article 19(5) allows the government to enact laws that can place reasonable restrictions on this right. Externment orders restrict an individual from entering a specific area, which can be seen as a limitation on the freedom granted by Article 19(1)(d).

Allahabad High Court Observation on Externment

  • In 2021, the Allahabad High Court made a significant decision by overturning an externment order and emphasized the gravity of such orders, noting that they significantly impact an individual’s freedom.
  • The court also highlighted that the right to one’s reputation is undeniably a part of the right to life as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. This affirmation has been established through numerous previous judgments by the highest court in the land.

Read Also: Making Fundamental Duties Enforceable

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