Beg, M. Hameedullah (Cj), Chandrachud, Y.V., Bhagwati, P.N., Krishnaiyer, V.R. & Untwalia, N.L., Fazalali, S.M. & Kailasam, P.S.
Maneka Gandhi’s passport was impounded by the Central Government under section 10(3)(c) of the Passport Actin public interest, within 7 days from the date of receipt of the letter issued by theregional passport officer, New Delhi. When she asked the reason for such an order Ministry of External Affairs refused to produce any such reason in the interest of general public.She then moved to the Supreme Courtfiling a writ petition under Article 32 of the constitution stating that the Passport act did not establish a procedure which was reasonable in natureviolating her fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
The Supreme Court rejected the Doctrine of Exclusivity and set out the Golden Triangle Rule and established a relationship between Article 14, 19 and 21.
The court said that in order to prove violation of article 21, article 14 and 19 have to be violated. Article19in the context of personal liberty and Article 14 in the context of procedure established by law. Whenever 14 and 19 are violated 21 is also violated. But if individually 14 or 19 are violated, 21 isn’t automatically violated.
The Court said that the validity of the procedure established has to be in consonance with Article 14 as laid down in Anwar Ali caseas they thought that Article 21 required the legislature to make a procedure which is reasonable in nature to deprive a person of his personal liberty.
The Court referred to the Bachan Singh case and said that the test for the application of Article 19 is not whether a law is a penal law or not. Indeed, the test is whether the law penalises an activity protected by Article 19. If it does, its validity shall have to be tested under Article 19 though it may also be tested under article 21.
The court broadened the term liberty. The Court mentioned that Article 21 is given the widest amplitude protecting several new rights.Article 21 covers personal liberty, false imprisonment, wrongful confinement. It was interpreted to exclude rights under19.
In this case, the court held that even if a right is not expressly mentioned in Art. 19(1) it could still be protected through necessary implication. This means that the said right should form an integral part of the protected rights.