EMPEROR Vs. YARMAHOMED AHMEDKHAN
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Referred Judgements :-
EMPEROR V. ANNA VITHOBA
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(1.)This is an appeal against the conviction of the appellant under Section 128 of the City of Bombay Police Act, 1902, by the Chief Presidency Magistrate, who imposed a fine of Rs. 201. Section 128 of the City of Bombay Police Act provides :-
Whoever, within two years from the date of his removal under the provisions of Section 27 returns to any place within the City of Bombay, without the permission in writing of the Commissioner of Police, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
(2.)The appellant admits that on November 2, 1936, an order was made by the Commissioner of Police purporting to act under Section 27 of the City of Bombay Police Act, under which the appellant was removed from Bombay. He further admits that he returned to Bombay within two years from the date of such removal; but he contends that the order which the Commissioner of Police purported to pass under Section 27 of the Act was not justified by the terms of that section, that the appellant's removal was not, therefore, under the provisions of Section 27, and that he is not liable to punishment under Section 128.
(3.)Section 27(7) of the City of Bombay Police Act is in these terms : -
Whenever it shall appear to the Commissioner of Police that the movements or encampment of any gang or body of persons in the City of Bombay are or is causing or calculated to cause danger or alarm, or a reasonable suspicion that unlawful designs are entertained by such gang or body or by any member or members thereof, or that an out-break of epidemic disease is likely to result from the continued residence in the City of large numbers of pauper immigrants, the Commissioner of Police may, by beat of drum or otherwise as he thinks fit, direct the members of such gang or body or such immigrants so to conduct themselves as shall seem necessary in order to prevent violence and alarm or the outbreak or spread of such disease, or to disperse and remove themselves to such place or places, by such route or routes, and within such time, as the Commissioner of Police shall prescribe.
The scope of the power vested in the Commissioner under that section was discussed by a division bench of this Court in Emperor v. Gulbadin Pathan (1935) Criminal Revision Application No. 504 of 1934, decided by Beaumont C.J. and N. J. Wadia J., on February 8, 1935 (Unrep.) and it was there pointed out that the section is of very limited application. The section is one of a group of sections, extending from Section 23 to Section 29 (both inclusive), which are headed "Special Orders" and which confer upon the Commissioner of Police power to deal with various emergencies so as to secure the public safety, and the orders to be made by the Commissioner under those sections are mainly of a strictly temporary character. Apart from Section 27, the only power of externment which is given to the Commissioner is under Section 28, which has since been repealed and re-enacted in another Act, under which a prostitute may be expelled from Bombay, but any such order of expulsion is subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council. It is clear from the language of Section 27 that the foundation for any order under the section is the movements or encampment of any gang or body of persons. Before any action can be taken under that section it must appear to the Commissioner that the movements or encampment of a gang or body of persons are or is causing or calculated to cause danger or alarm, or a reasonable suspicion that unlawful designs are entertained by such gang or body or by any member or members thereof; then only can the Commissioner give directions to the members of the gang or body. The Commissioner has no power under the n section to deport anyone whom he regards as a dangerous or undesirable character apart from his actions as a member of a gang or body of persons moving or encamping in the city.
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