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Report No. 43

2.4. Provisions not falling within 'public order' in the narrower sense.-

There is thus sufficient judicial authority to support the view that the expression 'public order' in Entry 1 of List 2 should normally be given a narrow meaning, referring to the absence of disorder and involving relatively minor breaches of the peace of a purely local significance, in contradistinction to those serious and aggravated forms of public disorder which are calculated to endanger the security of the state. We are satisfied that none of the provisions of the Bill will come within the scope of 'public order' in the narrow sense, and hence the legislative competence of the Parliament may be taken as unassailable.

It is true that the subject 'security of state' does not figure either in List I or in List III; but it may be taken as included in the expression 'defence of India' (Entry 1 of List I), which must include defence, not only from external aggression, but also from extensive internal insurrection and public disorder of a violent type spread over a large area. We may, in this connection, also refer to two articles of the Constitution which lend support to the above interpretation.

Article 352(1) relating to the Proclamation of Emergency describes the situation in which the President can issue such a Proclamation as 'a grave emergency is whereby the security of India or any part of the territory thereof is threatened, whether by war or external aggression or internal disturbance'. Similarly, Article 355 provides that it shall be the duty of the Union to protect every state against "external aggression and internal disturbance". In any case, it can also be brought under the residuary power of legislation mentioned in Article 248.

Offences Against the National Security Back

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