Madhya Pradesh High Court: Subodh Abhyankar, J., allowed a writ petition which was filed against the order of externment wherein the respondent had externed the petitioner from the limits of District Indore as also the adjoining Districts. The petitioner had averred that although the remedy of appeal was available to him, however, as the petitioner had been deprived of proper hearing by the respondent and principles of natural justice have been violated, the present petition has been directly filed before this Court.

The petitioner was involved in various criminal activities since 1998, which has led to fear in the minds of public and the public at large was also afraid to lodge any report against the petitioner as per the report of the Superintendent of Police recommending to initiate externment proceedings against the petitioner.

A reply was filed by the petitioner against the show cause notice on the ground that he was a social worker and the 9 cases, which are said to be registered against him are minor in nature, which have been lodged only due to political vendetta and out of the 9 cases, six cases are under Sections 323, 294, 506, 34 of IPC, and one case is under Section 110 of Cr.P.C., whereas other two cases are under Sections 188, 147, 341 of IPC, which are prohibitory in nature. Out of these nine cases, in six cases he has already been acquitted and in other three cases two cases are still under investigation.

The Court was required to see if the remedy of appeal was available to the petitioner or he can also assail the impugned order by way of the present writ, invoking jurisdiction of this court under Art.226 of the Constitution. From the record, it was apparent that none of the offences were serious in nature. The Court also found that the District Magistrate has not recorded the statement of any person from the area, who could say that he was afraid to go to police station only on account of the terror or influence exercised by the petitioner. It further added that it was apparent that by not providing the petitioner sufficient time to produce the orders of acquittal in the cases in which he was already acquitted, the principles of natural justice have been clearly violated and in such peculiar circumstances, even if the petitioner had not availed the remedy of appeal, this Court was of the considered opinion that this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was maintainable.

As far as the contention that the order of externment cannot be passed in respect of other adjoining district was concerned, this court was not required to dwell upon the same as the impugned order is liable to be quashed on the ground of violation of principles of natural justice.[Raju v. Collector, Writ Petition No.21686 of 2021, decided on 24-11-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Shri R. S. Chhabra, Counsel for the petitioner.

Shri Siddharth Jain, Counsel for the respondents/State.

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