The factual summary of this case is as follows-
• Maneka Gandhi was issued a passport on 1/06/1976 under the Passport Act 1967. The regional passport officer, New Delhi, issued a letter dated 2/7/1977 addressed to Maneka Gandhi, in which she was asked to surrender her passport under section 10(3)(c) of the Act in public interest, within 7 days from the date of receipt of the letter.
• Maneka Gandhi immediately wrote a letter to the Regional Passport officer, New Delhi seeking in return a copy of the statement of reasons for such order. However, the government of India, Ministry of External Affairs refused to produce any such reason in the interest of general public.
• Later, a writ petition was filed by Maneka Gandhi under Article 32 of the Constitution in the Supreme Court challenging the order of the government of India as violating her fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
• One of the significant interpretation in this case is the discovery of inter connections between the three Articles- Article 14, 19 and 21. This a law which prescribes a procedure for depriving a person of “personal liberty” has to fulfill the requirements of Articles 14 and 19 also.
• It was finally held by the court that the right to travel and go outside the country is included in the right to personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21. The Court ruled that the mere existence of an enabling law was not enough to restrain personal liberty. Such a law must also be “just, fair and reasonable
The case caused a huge uproar over the definition of freedom of speech.The court ruled that the procedure must be fair and the law must not violate other fundamental rights.