10 August 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

The State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors. Vs. Dharmendra Rathore and Ors.

MANU/SC/0092/2019

29.01.2019

Criminal

Madhya Pradesh Rajya Suraksha Adhiniyam, 1990 does not prohibit Additional District Magistrate to pass externment order

In facts of present matter, the Additional District Magistrate, has passed an order externing Respondent for a period of one year from the district concerned. An appeal was filed by the Respondent against the order of the Additional District Magistrate before the Commissioner, which too was dismissed. A writ Petition was filed by the Respondent challenging the order of the Additional District Magistrate as well as of the Commissioner. The main ground taken by the Respondent before the High Court was that the Additional District Magistrate had no jurisdiction to pass the order under the Madhya Pradesh Rajya Suraksha Adhiniyam, 1990. The order can be passed only by District Magistrate.

The High Court relying on judgment of Arvind Sharma v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors. allowed the writ petition holding that, Additional District Magistrate was incompetent to pass the order under the Adhiniyam, 1990. Writ Appeal was filed against the judgment of the High Court was dismissed holding that, the order could not have been passed by any authority lower than the rank of District Magistrate. State aggrieved by the order has come up in this appeal.

In the Statutory Scheme of the Adhiniyam, 1990, there is no provision, which prohibit passing an order by an officer lower than the rank of District Magistrate rather under Section 13, there is no limitation on the State Government while specially empowering an officer of the State to exercise the power of District Magistrate under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 and further under Section 18, the powers and duties of District Magistrate can be directed to be exercised or performed by Additional District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate for such areas as may be specified in the order. Thus, the Scheme of the Adhiniyam, 1990 clearly contemplate exercise of the power of District Magistrate under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 by an Additional District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate. The Notification dated 5th March, 2003 was not under challenge in the writ petition.

Constitution Bench judgment of present Court in Ajaib Singh was not applicable in the facts of the present case and High Court committed the error in relying on the said judgment for holding that, Additional District Magistrate had no jurisdiction. The impugned judgment is, thus, unsustainable. The appeals are allowed. The impugned judgments of the High Court are set aside.

Tags : Externment order Jurisdiction Additional District Magistrate

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