Nagpur/Mumbai: At a time when Nagpur has currently reached at critical crime scenario in which over 6 murders have been reported during this week, six notorious criminals will be walking free in the city. The Bombay High Court has quashed and set aside externment orders in 21 cases, including six from Nagpur city, observing that they were passed “without application of mind”.
In most cases, the externees were directed to move out beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the competent authority and even adjoining districts without assigning any reason, the High Court noted.
The cases relate to that of Pappu alias Akhilesh Mishra, Dhiraj Bamborde, Amol Meher, Akash Yadav, Kunal Akkallwar and Mohd Wasim Mohd Kalim (all from Nagpur), who were externed beyond the city and district limits, and other criminals from neighbouring Amravati, Wardha and Yavatmal who were prohibited from entering some neighbouring districts.
If larger area is being selected, the need thereof must also be evaluated by that authority and such an evaluation which constitutes the “application of mind”, has to surface in the impugned order, a division bench of Bombay High Court comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Indira Jain yesterday observed.
The court reminded the authorities that “externment is a measure which operates against the fundamental right and therefore, order of externment must be a reasonable order”.
In 19 cases, orders of externment were passed separately in the recent past under section 56 of the Maharashtra Police Act-1951 and in two cases under section 55.
The petitioners claimed that they were externed out of a large area or at times from several districts when the alleged activities were restricted to only one police station.
The HC observed that due to “non-application of mind” while selecting the area of externment, the externment orders are unsustainable in the eyes of law, and quashed them.
Advocate R M Patwardhan and 12 other lawyers appeared for the petitioners.
Public Prosecutor Bharati Dangre along with Assistant Public Prosecutors Vinod Thakare, M H Deshmukh and six others represented the respondents.