Last Updated: January 20, 2023, 20:57 IST
A Bombay High court bench comprising Justice Amit Borkar has recently observed that merely the pendency of an offence under Sections 406, 420, 120(b) read with 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) not sufficient grounds to deny an applicant the right to renew his passport.
The High Court was hearing a plea filed by an applicant against the rejection of the renewal of a passport to travel abroad. The applicant had applied for renewal of the passport before the Metropolitan Magistrate 31st Court, Vikhroli, Mumbai which was rejected by the magistrate on the grounds that the investigation was not complete, one of the accused is absconding and that there are chances of tampering of evidence.
The court noted that the renewal of a passport is regulated by the provisions of the Passport Act and the Additional Sessions Judge had permitted the applicant to travel to the United State of America from July 17, 2017 to August 11, 2019. Further, there was no allegation that the applicant had breached the conditions imposed by the Court while granting permission to travel abroad.
The court said: “In the facts of the case merely because the offence under Sections 406, 420, 120(b) read with 34 of IPC is pending against the applicant, the said fact by itself is not sufficient to deny the right of the applicant for renewal of the passport. There is no material on record to show that the applicant carries flight and risk The applicant has immovable property at Mumbai. The applicant’s son is working at Melbourne, Austrilia. In view of the Division Bench of Hon’ble High Court in the case of Narendra K. Ambawani Vs. Union of India W.P. No. 361 of 2014. The application for renewal of passport needs to be granted”
The High Court then quashed and set aside the order passed by Metropolitan Magistrate, Vikhroli Court. Further, the court directed to scrutinize the eligibility of the applicant as required under the provisions of the Passport Act and pass the order in accordance with the law on the application for renewal of the passport of the applicant.
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