Since 2011, there is not material against the petitioner to keep him under surveillance, the bench observed.
No intervention with the right of privacy of an Indian citizen can be permitted so mechanically, Allahabad High Court has observed while ordering the police to discontinue surveillance of a man, who was kept under surveillance since 2011.
Bablu Shah, since 2011, was kept under surveillance by opening his history-sheet of 'A' category, on the basis of certain cases lodged in the year 2011. He approached the Allahabad High Court contending that in all those cases, he has already been acquitted and he is no more involved in any such criminal activity that may demand surveillance; as such, the history-sheet deserves to be closed.
It was also brought to the notice of the court that the Station House Officer, in his recommendation, himself stated that the petitioner is leading his life peacefully by working as an electrical mechanic but at the same time, he recommended for continuance of the surveillance which is not in conformity to the other relevant facts stated.
Referring to scheme of surveillance, the bench of Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ashok Kumar observed that intervention in privacy of a person is permissible only in extraordinary circumstances looking to the eventualities referred in Chapter XX of the Police Regulations and no history-sheet can be permitted to be opened and continued, if the eventualities given in Regulations 228 of Chapter XX are not available.
The court also observed that a history-sheet of Category “A” can be discontinued if the authority competent is of the opinion that no further surveillance of the subject is required. “The petitioner was subjected to surveillance on basis of the recommendation made by the Station House Officer in the year 2011, containing adequate reasons to do so. However, the noting subsequent thereto nowhere disclose any application of mind. The notings for the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 without giving any instance or eventuality that demands further surveillance simply recommends for continuance of the history sheet,” the bench observed.
Ordering discontinuance of surveillance, the bench observed: “no intervention with the right of privacy of an Indian citizen can be permitted, so mechanically. If such intervention is required, then there must be adequate reasons with appropriate discussion demanding the surveillance by maintaining history-sheet. The case in hand discloses absolute non-application of mind and as such the recommendation made by the Station House Officer for continuance of the surveillance is absolutely ill founded. Since 2011, there is not material against the petitioner to keep him under surveillance.”