The Bombay excessive courtroom (HC) final week reiterated that the passport authorities aren’t allowed to curtail the validity of passports issued to individuals dealing with the prosecution in India, except a particular interval is talked about in courtroom orders involved.
The 2-member HC division bench, comprising Justices SC Gupte and Abhay Ahuja, mentioned beneath Rule 12 of the Passport Guidelines, 1980, the minimal interval of validity of a passport apart from for a kid under 15 years of age is 10 years.
The bench cited that there are not less than two earlier HC judgements declaring that this era can’t be curtailed in case of an individual dealing with felony instances, except a sure interval is specified within the courtroom order granting no-objection for renewal of the passport.
The clarification got here on a petition filed by Roshan Menezes, a service provider navy sailor from Mumbai, who had moved HC difficult motion on the a part of the passport authorities to resume his passport just for a 12 months, versus the same old interval of 10 years prescribed beneath the Passports Guidelines, 1980.
The interval of validity was curtailed due to the pendency of felony prosecution in opposition to him beneath earlier than the metropolitan Justice of the Peace courtroom at Borivali.
Through the pendency of the felony case, Menezes’ passport had expired on June 17, 2019.
On the idea of the magisterial order of December 4, 2019, passport authorities had issued him a recent passport in January, however it’s legitimate just for a 12 months, prompting Menezes to maneuver HC.
Earlier than HC, passport authorities took a stand that the passport legitimate for a 12 months was issued to Menezes in accordance with a notification issued by the central authorities beneath provisions of the Passport Act, 1980, on August 25, 1993.
The federal government notification had laid down guidelines for issuance of passports to individuals in opposition to whom felony proceedings are pending in India, offering that passports needs to be issued to individuals dealing with prosecutions within the nation legitimate just for a interval specified within the courtroom order involved, or for a interval of 1 12 months, the place the order doesn’t specify any interval.
HC, nonetheless, held that the authorities couldn’t have curtailed the validity interval to at least one 12 months in view of two earlier courtroom choices, particularly when no interval was specified within the magisterial order.
The bench has directed the authorities to increase inside 4 weeks the validity of Menezes’ passport to the same old 10 years.