Findings on past record is necessary before branding a person as habitual criminal

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of S.S. Shinde and V.K. Jadhav, JJ. allowed a criminal writ petition in terms of remitting the matter to Divisional Commissioner, Aurangabad, for fresh adjudication on the externment order passed against the petitioner.

The petitioner was accused in three criminal cases. The cases were pending adjudication. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Aurangabad, issued a show cause notice to petitioner asking as to why he should not be externed from Aurangabad city and adjoining districts for two years. In his reply, the petitioner stated that the cases pending against him were false and nothing had been proved. Thereafter, the Assistant Commissioner sent petitioner’s externment proposal to the Deputy Commissioner who passed the order externing the petitioner from Aurangabad city for two years. An appeal was filed before the Divisional Commissioner who confirmed the externment order. Hence, this petition.

The High Court gave careful consideration to submissions made on behalf of the parties and perused the impugned order. It was noticed that impugned orders did not discuss the statement of witnesses produced by the petitioner. The order was passed without giving the petitioner an opportunity to be heard, which was a violation of principles of natural justice. It was observed that to brand a person a habitual criminal, it is necessary to find out his past record. The Authorities concerned failed to consider the fact that the petitioner was not convicted in any of the cases pending against him. He was on bail and nothing was brought on record to show that he misused that liberty. In such circumstances, the High Court thought it fit to remit the matter back to the Divisional Commissioner for fresh adjudication. Operation of externment order passed against the petitioner was stayed. [Rauf Khan Wahab Khan Patel v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1606, dated 23-07-2018]

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    Nice articles you write on this blog which help the new advocates to their knowledge about current judgements and orders.

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