5 Sep 2022 11:49 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court recently quashed an order of the passport authorities impounding the passport of one, Gulamhusen Dadamiya Pir on the ground that he was engaged in some anti-national activities.It is interesting to note that the passport of the petitioner was not impounded by invoking the provisions of Section 10(3)(c) of the Passports Act, 1967, which refers to the impounding of...
The Gujarat High Court recently quashed an order of the passport authorities impounding the passport of one, Gulamhusen Dadamiya Pir on the ground that he was engaged in some anti-national activities.
It is interesting to note that the passport of the petitioner was not impounded by invoking the provisions of Section 10(3)(c) of the Passports Act, 1967, which refers to the impounding of a passport, if the holder of such passport is involved in any activities, which is against the interest of the sovereignty, integrity and the security of India.
Rather, the petitioner's passport was impounded under Section 10(3)(h) of the Passports Act, 1967, which refers to the impounding of the passport on the ground of registration of a criminal offence against the passport holder.
The bench of Justice A. S. Supehia observed that neither any material suggesting the involvement of the petitioner in any anti-national activities had been produced before the High Court nor any material indicating that any criminal offence had been registered against the petitioner had been produced by the respondents.
"The impugned order dated 03.09.2020 refers to the provisions of Section 10 (3) (h) of the Passports Act, 1967. Since no material has been produced by the respondent authorities that the petitioner has been involved in any criminal offence despite a specific statement made by him in the writ-petition in this regard, the invocation of the aforesaid provision by the impugned order dated 03.09.2020 is misconceived and misdirected. Hence, the impugned orders require to be quashed and set aside," the Court held.
The case involved the impounding of the passport of petitioner Gulamhusen. He was asked to surrender the passport in Feb 2017, which he did. Thereafter, he moved to the HC for directions to authorities seeking the return of his passport, and he was asked to make a fresh application for the return of his passport before the concerned authorities and the respondent authorities were directed to decide the same in accordance with law.
When he made an application, the passport authorities asked him to give an undertaking that he would provide information about criminal cases, if filed against him. He gave an undertaking that no criminal case had been registered against him, despite this fact, his passport was not released.
Subsequently, in September 2020, the passport office wrote to Gulamhusen informing him that his passport was impounded on grounds that he was involved in anti-national activities. Challenging the same, Gulamhusen moved the court again and when the High court sough evidence in that regard, the respondent authorities could not provide any details about his involvement in any anti-national activity.
In view of this, the Court quashed and set aside the order of the passport authorities. The respondents were directed to release the passport of the petitioner within a period of one month.
Case title - GULAMHUSEN DADAMIYA PIR Versus UNION OF INDIA
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 368
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