Right to travel abroad is an important basic human right

Satish Chandra Verma Vs Union of India and Ors

Supreme Court

09/04/2019

CIVIL APPEAL NO.3802 OF 2019

About/from the judgment:

The right to travel abroad is an important basic human right and also extends to private life, the Supreme Court held in its recent order.

 

While hearing an appeal filed by IPS Officer Satish Chandra Verma, who was denied permission to travel abroad on account of a pending departmental inquiry against him, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and MR Shah held,

 

“The right to travel abroad is an important basic human right for it nourishes independent and self-determining creative character of the individual, not only by extending his freedoms of action, but also by extending the scope of his experience. The right also extends to private life; marriage, family and friendship are humanities which can be rarely affected through refusal of freedom to go abroad and clearly show that this freedom is a genuine human right. ”

 

The appellant is an Inspector General of Police/Principal, Central Training College, Central Reserve Police Force at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Admittedly, there is a departmental inquiry pending against the appellant, on account of which the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) denied him permission to take a private trip abroad. This decision of the CAT was upheld by the Madras High Court.

 

The appellant, represented by Senior Counsel Indira Jaising, had apprised the Court that there were no criminal cases against him, and that the initiation of the departmental inquiry against him was under challenge. The Bench was also informed about the previous instance in 2017 when the appellant was granted permission to travel abroad by the Supreme Court.

 

The Court directed Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee to take instructions from the Centre as to whether it had any serious objection to the appellant travelling abroad.

 

After placing reliance on its judgment in the case of Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India, wherein the right to travel was upheld, the Bench set aside the order of the High Court.

 

Thus, it was held that a pending departmental inquiry cannot be a ground to keep the appellant from travelling abroad. The Court found no reason for the Government of India to deny permission to the appellant, and directed the Centre to permit the appellant to travel abroad.

Read the Judgment

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