19 Jun 2023 9:00 AM GMT
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has issued notice on a petition moved by Iltija Javed, daughter of former CM Mehbooba Mufti, challenging the issue of a conditional passport that restricts the scope of her travel abroad.Iltija's passport is valid only for two years (against the norm of 10 years) and is valid only for travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the purpose of her...
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has issued notice on a petition moved by Iltija Javed, daughter of former CM Mehbooba Mufti, challenging the issue of a conditional passport that restricts the scope of her travel abroad.
Iltija's passport is valid only for two years (against the norm of 10 years) and is valid only for travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the purpose of her higher studies.
In her plea filed through M/s Jahangir Iqbal Ganai Law Associates, Iltija has argued that the decision to issue her a country-specific passport with restricted duration is arbitrary and lacks reasonableness and fairness, which are essential aspects of any authority's action in determining an individual's rights. She is also aggrieved of the “Top Secret” adverse report submitted against her under the Official Secrets Act by CID, J&K to the Passport Officer.
She has argued that the issuance of the passport for a duration of only two years, without providing any written reasons as required by Section 7 of the Passport Act, is in violation of Rule 12 of the Passport Rules, 1980.
"Reason is the heartbeat of every conclusion and without the same it becomes lifeless. Reasons substitute subjectivity by objectivity. Reasons at least are sufficient to indicate application of mind. Absence of reason renders the order non sustainable in law and failure to give reasons amounts to denial of justice", her plea states.
The petition further pleads that under Section 5(3) of the Passport Act, the passport authority must provide a brief statement of reasons for issuing a passport with endorsements for certain countries while refusing endorsements for others. Iltija claims that despite requests, the respondent-authorities have failed to provide her any reasons.
She also said the remedy of appeal under Section 11 of the Passport Act is not an effective or efficacious remedy as the appellate authority lacks jurisdiction to address the constitutionality and legality of the report challenged in the writ petition.
"The remedy can best be described as from “Caesar to Caesar’s wife” and is actually a mirage and an exercise in futility. It being so, the petitioner invokes the writ jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court", the petitioner submitted.
Based on these grounds, Iltija has prayed for a declaration that the validity period and endorsement of her passport are unconstitutional, violating her fundamental right to travel under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
A direction has also been sought upon Passport Officer to treat her passport as valid until April 2033, without any endorsements restricting travel.
Justice Sanjay Dhar after hearing Sr Advocate Mr Jahangir Iqbal Ganai representing Iltija, issued notice to the respondent-authorities and directed them to file their response within two weeks.
The matter is slated to be heard on July 19.
Case Title: Iltija Javed Vs Union Of India