The Delhi High Court, on Tuesday, ruled that the Centre cannot deny passports to Indian citizens staying in designated Tibetan refugee settlements.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by one Tamding Dorjee, challenging the decision of the Union Ministry of External Affairs denying him a passport. The Ministry had relied on a notification passed in May this year, which requires that certain conditions be fulfilled before a passport can be issued to persons born of parents of Tibetan origin.
During the hearing, the Court noted that the Centre had failed to point out a provision which entitles the passport authorities to deny passport to an Indian citizen on the basis of where he resides in this country.
It then made reference to Section 6 of the Passport Act, 1967, which provides for the power of the passport authority to refuse passport and travel documents. It noted that Section 6(2) expressly provides that the passport can be denied only on the ground listed therein and “no other ground”.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru, hence, opined that the passport couldn't have been denied to the Petitioner and directed the authorities to process his application within four weeks.