Merely Because Criminal Case Is Pending, It’s Not Sufficient To Deny Right Of Passport Renewal: Bombay HC
The Bombay High Court in an application filed by the applicant facing prosecution under Sections 406, 420, 120(b) read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code observed that merely because a criminal case is pending against him, it is not sufficient to deny him the right of renewal of passport.
The Court directed the passport authorities to not reject the renewal of the passport granting on the pendency of offence against the applicant.
A Single Bench of Justice Amit Borkar 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, Australia.”
The Bench further relying upon the case of Narendra K. Ambawani v. Union of India W.P. No. 361 of 2014 asserted that the application for renewal of passport needs to be granted.
Advocate Sonal Parab represented the applicant while Advocate Yogesh Gandhi and APP A.R. Patil appeared for the respondent (passport authorities) and State respectively.
In this case, the applicant had applied for the relief of renewal of the passport before the Metropolitan Magistrate but the same got rejected holding that the investigation was not complete and there were chances of tampering with the evidence. Therefore, the applicant moved to the High Court praying for the renewal of his passport under the Passport Act.
The High Court in the above context ordered, “The respondent No.2 is directed not to reject the renewal of passport granting on the pendency of offence against the applicant. However, respondent No.2 shall scrutinize eligibility of the applicant as required under the provisions of the passport Act, and shall pass order in accordance with law on application for renewal of passport of the applicant.”
Accordingly, the Court quashed and set aside the order of the Metropolitan Magistrate.
Cause Title- Nijal Navin Shah v. The State of Maharashtra and Anr.