Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has struck down two government orders externing a resident from Nashik for two years, slamming them as "sheer perversity in administrative and quasi-judicial action".
One of the orders issued on May 21 pertained to externment of Ganesh Changle, while the other was on an appeal filed by him against the externment which was not considered by the Home Secretary (special) of the State Government on August 28.
The show-cause notice and externment order referred to previous criminal cases said to have been filed against the petitioner.
"In our view, the two impugned orders are both illegal and cannot be sustained. The petition (filed by Ganesh Changle) must succeed," said the judges on October 21.
Expressing surprise, the court noted that although the externment order was issued under one section, the material in the body of the externment order was under another section.
"The externment order purports to be under Section 56(1)(b) of Bombay Police Act, 1951, however, all the material in the externment order is under and only under section 56(1)(a) of the Bombay Police Act, 1951," the bench said.
The judges further noted, "The show-cause notice is under one section. The externment order is under the same section. That section has specific requirements. Everyone of those requirements must be met. This has been the law for a quarter of a century. Yet the material in the body of the externment order is under an entirely different section."
"How this can be said to be sufficient compliance with law and with requirements of article 22 of the Constitution defeats us," Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel said.
"When we said, in an earlier case, that this Appellate Authority seems to believe that facts are merely an inconvenience, the law but a nuisance, and the Constitution might as well not exist, findings of this stripe are precisely what we had in mind," the bench observed in the order.
There were four cases against the petitioner. One case was registered in 2008, another in 2010 and two cases in 2012. The petitioner told the Externing Authority and also to the Appellate Authority that although in two cases he has been acquitted, in show-cause notice both these cases were shown as pending. This error continued in the externment order.