CASE ANALYSIS: Gobind (Petitioner) Vs State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr (Respondent)

AUTHORED BY:

Girisha Meena, Gujarat National Law University

Savi Phutela, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Ritu Sharma, The NorthCap University, Gurgaon

EDITED BY:

Smaraki Nayak, Amity Law School, Noida




FACTS OF THE CASE:

· In the year of 1975, petitioner (Gobind) alleged that several false cases have been filed against him in criminal courts by the police but that he was acquitted in all but two cases. He said that on the basis that he was a habitual criminal, the police have opened a history sheet against him and then he has been put under surveillance.

· He submitted that the police made domiciliary visits both by day and by night at frequent intervals, secretly picketed his house and approached his house, that his movements were being watched by the patel of the village and that when the police come to the village for any purpose, he was called and harassed with the result that his reputation had sunken in the estimation of his neighbors.

· It was stated by police that the petitioner has managed to commit many crimes during 1960 to 1969.

· The case of the respondent in short was that the petitioner is a dangerous criminal whose conduct shows that he was determined to lead a criminal life and that he was put under surveillance in order to prevent him from committing offences.

ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT:

o The Regulations framed under Section 46(2)(d) of the Police Act offended the fundamental rights of the petitioner under article 19(1)(d) as well as article 21 of the constitution or not?

o Whether the provisions of Regulation 855 and 856 regarding domiciliary visits offended any of the fundamental rights of the petitioner?

o To find whether the petitioner was entitled to claim right in protection of fundamental privacy right or not?

o Whether the state interest is of such paramount importance to justify infringement of the rights?

CONTENTIONS:

BY PETITIONER:

o The petitioner contended that the actions of the police are violative of the fundamental right guaranteed to him under Articles 19(1)(d) And Article 21 of the Constitution.

o He pleaded declaration of Regulations of 855 and 866 are void contravening his fundamental rights.

o He contended that rules framed by State Government under Section 46(2)(c) can be made to give effect to the provisions of the act and the Regulations 856 of the Police Act for domiciliary visits and other matters is Ultra vires.

BY RESPONDENT:

o Respondent stated that the petitioner seems to be a dangerous criminal whose conduct showed that he was determined to lead a criminal life therefore, was put under surveillance in order to prevent him from committing offences.

o Regulations framed by Government of Madhya Pradesh under Section 46(2)(c) of the Police Act state that the State Government may, from time to time, by notification in the official gazette, makes rules consistent with the act- generally giving effect to the provisions of this act.

o The preamble of the Police Act state that it is expedient to reorganize the police and to make it a more efficient instrument for the prevention of the crime.

o The provision in Regulation 856 for domiciliary visits and other actions by the police was intended to prevent the commission of offences. The objective of the same was to see that the person subjected to surveillance was in his home and had not gone out for commission of any offence. Therefore, the Regulations 855 and 856 have the force of law.

o Respondent felt that assuming, right to personal liberty, the right to move freely and freedom to speech, create an independent right of privacy as an emanation, from which one can gain fundamental right then the right is not absolute.

o The rights guaranteed under the Regulation 856 has the force of law, it cannot be said that the fundamental right of the petitioner under article 21 has been violated by the provisions contained in it, what is guaranteed under that article is that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except for the procedure established by law.

o A law imposing reasonable restrictions upon the petitioner for compelling interest of state must be upheld as valid.

HONBLE JUDGES:
The case for the final appeal before the Supreme Court was dismissed and hence, the case was handled by the bench: Justice K.R. Mathew, Justice V.R. Krishnaiyer and Justice P.K. Goswami.

JUDGEMENT AND CONCLUSION:

In this case, Gobind’s appeal was dismissed. The court argued on that the guidelines 855 and 856 made by the legislature have important legal sponsorship as they have been made under Section 46(2)(c) of the Police Act, 1888. The court expressed that the privilege to protection isn't unequivocally given under the Constitution of India. It very well may be inferred from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and hence isn't outright completely. Subsequently, sensible limitation can be forced on a person's entitlement to protection and this is to be resolved through a far-reaching investigation of the realities of the case and through the convincing state premium test. Domiciliary visits by the cops were not respected to abuse the principal rights as these were sensible in their temperament and with a target to make sure about the open intrigue. Just people who are associated with being enjoying violations are exposed to domiciliary visits and observation and subsequently these guidelines were viewed as sensible and along these lines maintained to be legitimate. The court encouraged the cops to make strides under the guidelines with extraordinary alert. Just the people with most clear instances of crimes ought to be exposed to the observation in order to guarantee that the essentiality of the guidelines is kept up.

The writ request recorded by the solicitor, Gobind was dismissed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India on different grounds. In any case, there were a few regions which were not investigated and a few holes which were not given due significance. For example, there might be a situation wherein an individual might be guiltless however is associated with being a lawbreaker and exposed to observation. The court didn't consider the idea of gravity of the wrongdoing which can end up being harsh in specific conditions. Additionally, guideline 855 gives that an individual might be exposed to observation on unimportant doubt of the police and there is no arrangement which commands that there must be some previous conviction or solid proof to proclaim an individual as a routine lawbreaker.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS:

The instance of Gobind v State of MP is one of the most noteworthy Indian cases managing the privilege to security which has essentially helped in building up the standard in regards to one side to protection and its temperament. Every single viewpoint and issue emerging for the situation was given a profound idea and examination by the directing appointed authorities.

Article 19(1)(d) of the Indian Constitution provides freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India to each and every citizen of the country. Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides the right to life and personal liberty to the citizens of India. The provision states that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except through the procedure established by law.

Rights and duties go hand in hand. If there are certain rights provided by the constitution, along with it come some responsibilities too. The right to privacy can be implied through various fundamental rights including the right to personal liberty, right to move freely throughout India and the freedom of speech. In this case, the decision taken by the Bench is justified. Article 19(1)(d) of the constitution has stated that the right to move freely, guaranteed, may, under Clause(5) of Article 19, be restricted for the protection of interests of the people and society. Surveillance is also confined to the limited class of citizens who are determined to lead a criminal life by the police and it should be reduced according to the case of danger to community. The state has to revise the old norms which are on the verge of unconstitutionality.

There are still some gaps in the judgement which need to be filled. Domiciliary visits should not be completely legitimate. It is against the public policy to subject a guiltless person to regular visits and there is a chance that the person who is being subjected to the police investigation is actually not guilty. The regulations do not take the gravity of the crime into consideration which is a serious defect.

STATUTES REFERRED:

1. The Police Act, 1888

2. The Constitution of India, 1950

3. The Indian Penal Code, 1860

4. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

CASES REFERRED:

1. Kharak Singh v State of UP and others [1963 AIR 1295]

2. Wolf v. Colorado [338 U.S. 25]

3. Griswold v. Connecticut [381 U.S. 479]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/436241/

2. https://blog.ipleaders.in/Gobind-versus-state-of-madhya-pradesh/

3. https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/56b48e11607dba348fff4a81

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