IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Right to travel abroad is part of fundamental right to dignity, personal liberty: Supreme Court

25th October, 2020 Polity

Context: The Supreme Court has held that the right to travel abroad is an inseverable part of the fundamental right to dignity and personal liberty.

  • A recent judgment by a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud decided the “interesting” question whether a court can make the ban on travelling abroad a condition for granting bail.

Judgment highlights:

  • This right cannot be merely “illusory”.
  • The competent court is empowered to exercise its discretion to impose “any condition” for the grant of bail under Sections 437 (3) and 439 (1) (a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • However, this discretion of the court has to be “guided by the need to facilitate the administration of justice, secure the presence of the accused and ensure that the liberty of the accused is not misused to impede the investigation, overawe the witnesses or obstruct the course of justice.”
  • The nature of the risk has to be carefully weighed by the courts individually in each case for permission to travel abroad while out on bail.
  • The conditions for the grant of permission have to balance both the public interest in the enforcement of criminal justice with the rights of the accused.