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Karnataka High Court Stays Single Judge Order Dispensing Trial Court's Permission For Passport Renewal Where Criminal Trial Is Stayed By Higher Court

Mustafa Plumber
14 Jun 2022 7:15 AM GMT
Karnataka High Court Stays Single Judge Order Dispensing Trial Courts Permission For Passport Renewal Where Criminal Trial Is Stayed By Higher Court
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The Karnataka High Court has stayed a single judge bench order which held that the permission from a trial court is not necessary for renewal of passport when the criminal proceedings are stayed by a higher court. A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Ashok S Kinagi stayed the order dated March 17, by which the court had directed the Regional Passport Officer...

The Karnataka High Court has stayed a single judge bench order which held that the permission from a trial court is not necessary for renewal of passport when the criminal proceedings are stayed by a higher court.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Ashok S Kinagi stayed the order dated March 17, by which the court had directed the Regional Passport Officer to consider a woman's application for renewal of her passport without insisting upon a facilitative order from the concerned Criminal Court before whom a case registered against her is pending.

The division bench in its order said "Learned ASG appearing for the appellants submits that the writ court has failed to properly consider that the Passport Officer can refuse to issue the passport in case any case relating to commission of an offence is pending in a court of law. He refers to Section 6(2)(f) of the Passport Act, 1967. The matter requires consideration. Admit. List after service on respondent. The operation of the impugned order is stayed."

The Respondent (original-petitioner) had approached the High Court seeking invalidation of the Endorsement dated 06.09.2021 issued by the Regional Passport Officer and for a direction to consider her application for renewal of the passport, which has since expired. The RPO had rejected her application on the grounds that a criminal case is pending against her and the petitioner is required to furnish an order from the concerned court as per notification issued in the year 1993 by the Ministry of External Affairs.

A single judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while allowing the petition filed by Kasturi Rajupeta, had said that when all further proceedings in the criminal case are interdicted by a higher Court, the 1993 Notification requiring trial court's permission for issuance of passport during pendency of trial cannot be pressed into service. "What is to be seen is the intent, content & invocability of the Notification. Otherwise, it amounts to burying the spirit of law by operating its black letter."

The bench had noted that the Right to travel is an inviolable human right enshrined under Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and under the Indian Constitution, the Right to travel abroad is held to be a facet of fundamental right to life & liberty guaranteed under Article 21 vide Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India.

The present writ appeal was preferred by the Centre, which before the single bench had argued that a criminal case is pending against the petitioner and therefore she should obtain and produce a facilitative order at the hands of the learned Judge of the said Court, so that her application for renewal of passport may be favourably considered.

Case Title: UNION OF INDIA v KASTURI RAJUPETA

Case no: WA 392/2022

Date of Order: June 6, 2022

Appearance: ASG Shanthi Bhushan H for appellant

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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