Maharashtra govt passing `mindless` externment orders: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court has directed the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary of the home department to take corrective measures.

Mumbai: Coming down heavily on Maharashtra government for passing "farce and perverse" externment orders without application of mind, the Bombay High Court has directed the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary of the home department to take corrective measures.

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and S B Shukre was irked with the appellate authority passing stereotypical orders without application of mind.

"It appears, from matter after matter, that passing such untenable orders is a deliberate act. To do away with the presence of accused persons and to avoid preventing and checking their criminal activities, some persons are routinely externed. The externing authorities are aware that their orders are illegal and unsustainable," the bench said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Masiullha Abdul Idrisi challenging the externment order passed against him in August last year. Idrisi was issued a show cause notice in April 2012 regarding nine cases registered against him at suburban Wadala police station.
However, the appellate authority upheld the externment order based on two new cases registered against Idrisi in August, his lawyer Mehul Rathod argued, adding that Idrisi was externed from Mumbai and Thane district for two years.

The court, while quashing the externment order, said the order was against the principles of natural justice. "This surprises and shocks us. Even the state government does not want to look into this and decide whether such an authority should be allowed to deal with appeals," the court said.

The court further observed that the government does not find time to take into account repeated observations, findings and remarks of the high court.

"If the externment proceedings are serious in nature then our orders by now should have prompted the government to take corrective measures. The matters could have been withdrawn from the secretary (special), Home department and could have been assigned to somebody else," Justice Dharmadhikari said.

"All this makes a mockery of their powers. Proceedings before them are a farce. The attitude is that let high court set aside such orders as and when their challenged.

This approach needs to be deplored and deprecated in the strongest term because the same shows utter disregard to the fundamental rights," the court said.


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