The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the passport authority to expeditiously decide on former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's application for issuance of passport.

The Court was dealing with a plea filed by Mehbooba Mufti seeking early decision in her appeal against the Order of the Passport Office, Srinagar. The application for issuance of her passport was refused on March 26, 2021.

“…considering that the matter has been remanded to the Passport officials and the initial rejection was almost two years ago, let the concerned Passport office take a decision expeditiously and in any case, within a period of three months.”, Justice Prathiba M. Singh directed.

Senior Advocate Prashanto Chandra Sen appeared for Petitioner-Mehbooba Mufti whereas CGSC Kirtiman Singh appeared for Respondents.

Mehbooba Mufti's passport was stated to have been valid till May 3, 2019. An application was filed by her seeking a fresh passport before the Regional Passport Office, Jammu and Kashmir in 2020. Since the passport had not been issued, the Petitioner filed a writ petition before the J&K High Court. During the pendency of the said writ, an order was passed by the RPO, Sri Nagar stating that the case of the Petitioner was “Not Recommended Passport Case” as per the Police Verification Report received from the Additional Director General of Police, J&K CID.

In the light of this order, the writ petition came to be dismissed permitting the Petitioner to avail of her remedies under the Passports Act by way of an appeal.

The said order came to be challenged by the Petitioner before the Division Bench which was also disposed of by providing liberty to her to approach the appropriate authority to avail the proper remedy available to her under the Scheme.

Cause Title- Mehbooba Mufti v. Joint Secretary (PSP) & Chief Passport Officer (Neutral Citation Number- 2023/DHC/001678)

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