KHARAK SINGH v. STATE OF U.P AND OTHERS’ (1963 AIR 1295, 1964 SCR (1) 332 )


This very famous case is related to the Fundamental Rights which is granted in our Constitution of India under Article 14 to 32. This case is a very famous case on the infringement of Constitutional Rights of the Petitioner, Kharak Sigh who was charged for the dacoity and later on acquitted by the court on absence of the evidence but later on his name was putted on the history sheet and being under surveilliance by the Uttar Pradesh police department on which the petitioner feel that the mere surveillance is voilative of his certain fundamental rights then he filed a writ petition in honourable Supreme Court for seeking the justice under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner, Kharak Singh has been charged in the violent robbery case which was committed as an armed gang in the year 1941. He was acquitted under Section 169 of the Criminals Procedure code because of lack of evidence by the honourable Court.
Later on Police opened a history sheet on his name which is defined in the REGULATION 236 OF THE U.P POLICE in which they put his name under surveilliance . Surveillance includes some of the following points:-
Secret picketing of the house or approaches to the house of suspects;
Domiciliary visits at night;
The surveillance must be done through periodical inquiries by officers not below the rank of Sub- Inspector into habits , association, income etc;
Constables and Chaukidars were posted for reporting of the movements of the Petitioner.
Periodic inquiry on the absence in the home of the Petitioner;
The verification of the movement in the absence of the Kharak Singh for maintenance of record.
Inquiry of the sources of income, expenditure and Occupation of the history sheeter.
The abovementioned all the guidelines are under the Chapter xx of the REGULATION236 of the U.P POLICE which defines “history sheet” as “ the personal record of criminals under surveillance”. The Regulation further directs that history sheet should be only opened for the persons who are or likely to be become habitual criminals or the aiders or abettors of such Criminals.
The petitioner challenged the Constitutional validity of the Chapter XX of the U.P POLICE REGULATIONS which includes all the above mentioned points. The petitioner also contended that the act of police is violative of some of the Fundamental Rights in Part III of the Constitution of India.
Following are the problems which are faced by the petitioner in pursuance of the surveillance :-
Police used to knock the door exactly late night in the name of domiciliary visit and come to check anytime during late night and used to shout in front of his gate.
The petitioner has to inform the police station of his village on going to another village and the police station of the village where he is going and report to his own village police station after returning.
The petitioner has to travel far for proving his presence in the police station which seemed a problem to him.
Police regularly track all the movement directly or indirectly , inside as well as outside the house and village which is a clear interruption to the privacy of the petitioner.
Police used to inquiry about the income and expenses of the petitioner and used to ask question to any family member in the name of inquiry.

The Court (6 judge bench) allowed partly writ petition , who have given concurring opinions and have strucked down the relevant provisions (only domiciliary visit) of the U.P REGULATION as Unconstitutional and violating Part III of the Constitution. The petitioner were entitled to issue a writ of “Mandamus” directing the respondent not to continue domiciliary visits. The rest of the petition fails and is dismissed.
The majority observation as well as opinion was that, Article 19 has not been violated in the said act of U.P Police as “Right to freedom of Movement” as the Police has all the authority to keep the record of a “history sheeted” person as mentioned in the Regulation as it is justified under the law and not violative of Fundamental Rights.


On the other hand the majority observed and said that regarding “domiciliary visit”, the act of police is totally voilative regarding “Right to life and personal liberty” and the police has no any right to visit the house of a person at night for the purpose of the inquiry and every person has the right to live with full dignity and the U.P Police has taken away the same right by doing so.

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