The Bombay excessive court docket (HC) final week reiterated that the passport authorities should not allowed to curtail the validity of passports issued to individuals dealing with the prosecution in India, until a particular interval is talked about in court docket orders involved.
The 2-member HC division bench, comprising Justices SC Gupte and Abhay Ahuja, mentioned below Rule 12 of the Passport Guidelines, 1980, the minimal interval of validity of a passport aside from for a kid beneath 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 prison circumstances, until a sure interval is specified within the court docket 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 yr, versus the standard interval of 10 years prescribed below the Passports Guidelines, 1980.
The interval of validity was curtailed due to the pendency of prison prosecution towards him below earlier than the metropolitan Justice of the Peace court docket at Borivali.
Throughout the pendency of the prison 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 contemporary passport in January, however it’s legitimate just for a yr, prompting Menezes to maneuver HC.
Earlier than HC, passport authorities took a stand that the passport legitimate for a yr was issued to Menezes in accordance with a notification issued by the central authorities below provisions of the Passport Act, 1980, on August 25, 1993.
The federal government notification had laid down guidelines for issuance of passports to individuals towards whom prison 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 court docket order involved, or for a interval of 1 yr, 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 yr in view of two earlier court docket 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 standard 10 years.