Personal Liberty: Procedure Established by Law has to be Fair, Just and Reasonable
Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (AIR 1978 SC 597) (1978).
• The view expressed in A. K. Gopalan’s case was revisited in this case after about 28 years.
The main issues were whether the right to go abroad is a part of the right to personal liberty under Article 21 and whether the Passport Act prescribes a ‘procedure’ as required by Article 21 of the Constitution.
The SC held that the right to go abroad is a part of the right to personal liberty under Article 21.
The SC also ruled that the mere existence of an enabling law was not enough to restrain personal liberty. “The procedure prescribed by law has to be fair, just and reasonable, not fanciful, oppressive or arbitrary. ”
Important judgment for Judicial Services exams