Judicial Dictionary

Reasonable restriction

Mahajan J., as he then was, speaking for the Court in Chintaman Rao v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (1950) SCR 759 at page No. 763 succinctly defined the expression “reasonable restrictions” thus:

“The phrase ‘reasonable restriction’ connotes that the limitation imposes on a person in enjoyment of the right should not be arbitrary or of an excessive nature, beyond what is required in the interests of the public. The word ‘reasonable’ implies intelligent care and deliberation, that is, the choice of a course which reason dictates.”

A fairly exhaustive test to ascertain the reasonableness of a provision is given by Patanjali Sastri C. J. in State of Madras v. V. G. Row, (1952) SCR 597 at page No. 607. Therein the learned Chief Justice observed thus:

“It is important in this context to bear in mind that the test of reasonableness, wherever prescribed, should be applied to each individual statute impugned, and no abstract standard, or general pattern, of reasonableness can be laid down as applicable to all cases. The nature of the right alleged to have been infringed, the underlying purpose of the restrictions impose, the extent and urgency of the evil sought to be remedied thereby, the disproportion of the imposition, the prevailing conditions at the time should all enter into the judicial verdict.”


Ref: AIR 1964 SC 416 : (1964) 4 SCR 1002 : (1964) 1 CriLJ SC 304

Categories: Judicial Dictionary