Right to Move Freely Throughout the Territory (Article 19 (1) (d) of Constitution of India

Article 19 (1) (d) of the Constitution provides the citizens a right to go wherever they like in Indian Territory without any kind of restriction whatsoever. They can move from one State to other and also from one place to another place within any State of India.

This freedom cannot be curtailed by any law except within the limits of Article 19 (5). In this way Constitution stresses that the entire country is one unit so far the citizens are concerned. The object is to create the sense of nationality in the minds of the citizens.

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Grounds of Restrictions:

The State under clause 5 of Article 19 may impose reasonable restrictions on the freedom of movement on two grounds:

(1) In the interest of general public,

(2) For the protection of interests of the Scheduled Tribes.

In N.B. Khare v. State of Delhi, AIR 1950 S.C. 211. the petitioner was served with an order of externment by the District Magistrate, Delhi, to remove himself immediately from Delhi district and not to return there for a period of three months.

The order was made under East Punjab Safety Act, 1949. The petitioner contended that the order imposed unreasonable restrictions on his right to move freely, because: (a) the externment order depended on the subjective satisfaction of the Executive, and (b) the Act did not fix any minimum time beyond which the order cannot continue.

The Supreme Court held that the mere fact that the power to make the order of externment was given to the State Government or District Magistrate whose satisfaction was final, did not make the restriction unreasonable.

The second contention was rejected on the ground that the Act was of limited duration, therefore, there was no possibility of an order of externment being made for definite period. Accordingly, it was held by the Supreme Court that the mere fact that the order depended on the subjective considerations of the executive, did not make the restriction unreasonable because the desirability of passing such an order in emergency, had to be left to an officer.

In State of U.P. v. Kaushalya, AIR 1964 S.C. 416, It was held that the right of movements of prostitutes may be restricted on the grounds of public health and in the interests of public morals.

The right of a citizen to move freely may also be restricted in the interests of Scheduled Tribes. The object is to protect the original tribes which are mostly settled in Assam. These tribes have their own culture, language, customs and manners.

It was considered necessary to impose restrictions upon the entry of outsiders to these areas. It was feared that uncontrolled mixing of the tribes with the people of other areas might produce undesirable effect on the tribal people.

In Ajai Canu v. Union of India, (1988) 4 S.C.C. 156, the Supreme Court has held that the imposition of wearing helmets by drivers of two wheelers had been made for the good of the people and it was a reasonable restriction on the freedom of movement.

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