Report No. 43
Relations with Foreign States
Indian statute law is not unfamiliar with legislative provisions on the subject of relations with foreign States. For sometime, the statute book had a specific Act on the subject1. The Penal Code has a few provisions intended to act as a deterrent against waging war or depredations on foreign states which are friendly with India2. The Constitution, while guaranteeing the freedom of speech and expression, expressly permits3 reasonable restrictions in the interests of friendly relations with foreign states4.
One of the grounds on which the Government can prohibit the import of a book under the Customs Act5 is the maintenance of friendly relations with foreign States. The primary reason why the matter did not receive prominent attention during the last century was, perhaps, the political status of the country and the comparative infrequency of occasions raising questions involving such relations.
1. The Foreign Relations Act, 1932 (12 of 1932) (Repealed).
2. Sections 125 to 127, IPC.
3. Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
4. Also see Union List, Entry 10, "Foreign Affairs; all matters which bring the Union into relation with any foreign country."
5. Section 11(2)(t), Customs Act, 1962.
5.2. There is of course no doubt as to the close connection between friendly relations with foreign States and national security. The maintenance of friendly relations with foreign States is of vital importance for the protection of the country mainly from external danger. Protection from internal danger also cannot be wholly ruled out because a hostile foreign power may try to create internal disturbances through fifth columnists in the country. The connection between the two may be indirect in point of causation, but is unquestionable. Besides, there is a practical advantage in utilising the present opportunity for consolidating the law on the subject.