INDRAJIT BARUA Vs. STATE OF ASSAM
LAWS(DLH)-1983-6-1
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on June 03,1983

INDRAJIT BARUA Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ASSAM Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

TURNER V. M.G.M. PICTURES LTD. [REFERRED]
R. V. DUFFY [REFERRED]
RAM-MANOHAR LOHIA V. THE STATE OF BIHAR AND. ANOTHER [REFERRED]
A K GOPALAN VS. STATE OF MADRAS OPPOSITE PARTY; UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
GURBACHAN SINGH VS. STATE OF BOMBAY [REFERRED]
TIKA RAMJI OTHERS VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED]
PANNALAL BINJRAJ VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
DEEP CHAND BRAHMAN LAL SINGH NIRANJAN SINGH HARI SHANKER SHYAM LAL RAM PRASAD JAIN TRANSPORT GENERAL TRADING CO JAIPAL SINGH VIRENDRA PAL GUPTA VISHAMBHAR DAYAL GUPTA REJENDRAPAL SIA RAM BRIJPAL SINGH PANDIT SRINIVAS MADHO RAM MOHI UDD VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED]
ARUN GHOSH VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [REFERRED]
RUSTOM CAVASJEE COOPER RUSTOM CAVASJEE COOPER T M GURUBUXANI VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
MOHAMMAD KHAN NAWAB KHAN VS. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [REFERRED]
STATE OF RAJASTHAN STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH STATE OF PUNJAB VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
MANEKA GANDHI VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
YOGENDRA MORARJI VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [REFERRED]
MARU RAM BHIMWA RAM SHANKER KRISHNA RAGHUBIR SINGH RAMPUJA SINGH NIRBHAI SINGH BALKRISHAN GUPTA VENY SINGH BABULAL GAUTAM OM PRAKASH NAGEBHUSHANAM PATNAIK RAGHUNATH SINGH JAGIR SINGH VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
AJAY HASIA VS. KHAUID MUJIB SEHRAVARDI [REFERRED]
FRANCIS CORALIE MULLIN VS. ADMINISTRATOR UNION TERRITORY OF DELHI [REFERRED]
WASIUDDIN AHMED VS. DISTRICT MAGISTRATE ALIGARH U P [REFERRED]
A K ROY THAN SINGH TYAGI DR VASANTKUMAR PANDIT VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED]
MALLADI NARAYANAMURTI VS. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH [REFERRED]



Cited Judgements :-

PEOPLES UNION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GAU)-1991-2-1] [REFERRED TO]
PEOPLES UNION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GAU)-1991-3-3] [RELIED ON]
GIRIJA BARUAH VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GAU)-1993-1-5] [REFFERED TO 2.]
BIMAL KAUR KHALSA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(P&H)-1987-10-13] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

PRAKASH NARAIN,.J - (1.)What is most precious to any man is his life. Next to that his personal liberty. 'That is why life and liberty are two basic human rights which are ensured to every man, woman and child in any civilised society. This is recognised by our Constitution and is enshrined as a fundamental right in Article 21. Indeed on such a' high pedestal have these two rights been placed by the Constitution that Article 21 is couched in a language which is by way of a direction or injunction to all and sundry, including the State, that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
(2.)In any organised society it is a basic postulate that the rule of law is supreme. Therefore, it is only procedure established by law which could entitle the taking away of a person's life or personal liberty. "The power to deprive a man of his basic-human right of either' life or personal liberty is necessitated because of the imperative of an organised society, the need of the society to keep it duly organised, free' of crime or offences against the society or persons constituting the society. Indeed, it can hardly be disputed that such a need or power must take precedence over the individual's right to enforce his rights qua life and personal liberty. This social need, however, can only be met in one way and that is that-the State representing the Society, arms itself with the power to deprive a person of life and liberty by enacting a valid law.
(3.)The procedure established by law, however, cannot be arbitrary. This has been recognised by our Constitution by enacting provisions like Article 14, Article 19 and Article 21. It is a postulate of civilised society that all State action whether it be executive action of- legislative action or even judicial action must stand the test of being just, reasonable and fair. In other words, it must not: be oppressive, capraciours, whimsical, unjust or unfair. In short, it should not be arbitrary. These are the fundamentals of any civilised society and on which our secular, democratic republic is founded. Thirty three years ago, Mukherjee, J. (as he then was) in Gopalan's case Diverting to this very aspect had to say this:
"The question, therefore, arises in each case of adjusting the conflicting interests of the individual and of the society. In some cases, restrictions have to be placed upon free exercise of individual rights to safeguard the interests of the society; on the other hand, social control which exists for public good has got to be restrained lest it should be misused to the detriment of individual rights and liberties. Ordinarily, every man has the liberty to order his life as he' pleases, to stay what he will. to go Where he will, to follow any trade, occupation or calling at his pleasure and to do any other thing which he can lawfully do without let or hindrance by any other person. On the other hand for the very protection of these liberties the society must arm itself with certain powers. No man's liberty would be worth its name if it can be violated with impunity by any wrongdoor and if his property or possessions could be prayed upon by a thief or a marauder. The society, therefore, has got to exercise certain powers for the protection of these liberties and to arrest, search, imprison and punish those who break the law. If these powers are properly exercised, they themselves are the safeguards of freedom, but they can certainly be abused. The police may arrest any man and throw him into prison without assigning any reasons; they may search his belongings on the slightest pretext; he may be subjected to a sham trial and even punished for crimes unknown to law. What the Constitution, therefore, attempts to do in declaring the rights of the people is to strike a balance between individual liberty and social control."
Likewise S. R. Dass, J (as he then was) opined:
"Personal liberties may be compendiously summed up as the right to do as one pleases within the law. I say within the law because liberty is not unbridled licence. It is what Edmund Burke called 'regulated freedom'................ Therefore, putting restraint on the freedom of wrong doing of one person is really securing the liberty of the intended victims. To curb the freedom of the saboteur of surreptitiously removing the fish plates from the Railways lines is to ensure the safety and liberty of movement of the numerous innocent and unsuspecting passengers. Therefore, .restraints on liberty should be judged not only subjectively as applied to a few individuals who come within their operations but also objectively as securing the liberty of a far greater number of individuals. social interest in individual liberty may well have to be subordinated to other greater social interests. If a law ensures and protects the greater social. interests then such law will be a wholesome and beneficient law although it may infringe the liberty of some individuals, for, it will ensure for the greater liberty of the rest of the members of the society. At the same time our liberty has also to be guided against executive, legislative as well as judicial usurpation of powers and prerogatives."

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