Part III of Indian Constitution contains the fundamental rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution of India to the citizens of India. These fundamental rights guarantees different types of freedoms and rights, like Article 14 guarantees right to equality, articles 19 to 23 guarantees right to freedom. Article 19 guarantees different types of freedoms such as right to free speech and expression, right to movement, right to form associations, right to residence etc. Article 19 1 (e) speaks about right to residence. These fundamental rights are not absolute in nature they are subject to restrictions. Article 19 (5) deals with the restrictions with respect to article 19 (1) (e). These fundamental rights are limited so that they can be enjoyed better. This article will discuss about article 19 (1) (e) in detail along with the restrictions.
Freedom of Residence:
As previously mentioned Article 19 (1) (e) deals with right to residence. Article 19 1 states as follows “All citizens shall have the right— (a) to freedom of speech and expression; (b) to assemble peaceably and without arms; (c) to form associations or unions 2 [or co-operative societies]; (d) to move freely throughout the territory of India; (e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; 3 [and] 4 (g) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”. According to this article a citizen of India can reside and settle in any part of India. But this right is only available to the citizens of India, and not available to the foreigners. No foreigner can exercise this right. So the Government of India has the power to expel foreigners from India. In the case of U.P Avas Evam Vikas Parishad vs Friends Co-op Housing Society Ltd, the Supreme Court has held that right to shelter comes under right to residence. Article 19 (5) deals with the restrictions. Though fundamental rights are subject to restrictions, the Court has to test whether the law or order which is restricting any fundamental right is reasonable.
Article 19 (5) states as follows “ Nothing in sub clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe”. So according to article 19 (5) the following are the reasonable grounds for restriction of article 19 (1) (e) :
- In the interest of general public
- For protection of interests of any Scheduled Tribe.
In the case of Ibrahim Wazir vs State of Bombay, the Central Government has ordered an Indian citizen to expel from the country as he entered the country without a valid visa. The Court has held that the order by the central government was invalid on the ground that the order imposes an unreasonable restriction on Article 19 (1) (e) which guarantees freedom to reside or settle within the territory of India.
Right to freedom is one of the most important fundamental rights provided to the citizens of India by the Constitution. The fundamental rights provided by the Constitution of India are not absolute in nature and subject to restrictions. Because if the freedoms provided are not restricted then those freedoms can be misused. To balance the power restrictions are placed. But the state or any other act cannot impose unreasonable restrictions on fundamental rights the restrictions imposed should be reasonable in nature. Article 19 (1) (e) provides freedom to reside and settle in any part of India within the territory of India. And this right is only available to the citizens of India and not to the foreigners. A citizen of India can reside in any part of India within the boundaries of India.
- Udai Raj Rai, Fundamental Rights and their Enforcement, 2011
- Arijit Tarafdar, Article 19, Constitution of India- The rights and their Restrictions, Northeast law journal, June 2, 2021.
- Arun K Thiruvengadam, The Constitution Of India, A contextual Analysis, 2017.
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