The Meghalaya High Court has said the entry of Indian citizens through the implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, may not be regulated.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice T Diengdoh observed that the grounds on which entry to or movement within the State may be regulated have not been spelt out in the impugned statute or in any rules framed there under, The Hindu reported.
“The challenge here is to the validity of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, and the possible draconian manner in which it may be implemented as appropriately apprehended by the petitioners,” the court order said.
The Meghalaya government had referred to Article 19(5) of the Constitution while drawing up the Act but the court refused to accept it.
The court made this observation while hearing a PIL which was filed challenging the constitutional validity of entry-exit gates in the State.
The petitioners submitted that gates were set up at several points for checking the documents of people seeking to enter the State.
They also submitted that without any objective parameters being set down for denying entry or regulating the movement of any citizen of the country in the State, such checkposts may be impermissible and the exercise of authority thereat may be wholly arbitrary.
The Bench said that since the advocate representing the State sought time to obtain instructions as to whether any rules may be put in place under the statute to provide cogent and reasonable grounds, “let the matter stand over for some time”.
“It is made clear that the apparent omnibus charter conferred by the impugned statute without indicating any parameters for restricting or regulating the entry or movement of Indian citizens into and within the state may be not exercised,” it stated.
The matter was posted for further hearing on February 2 next.