The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has slammed the authorities for refusing passport to the mother of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

The bench of Justice M. A. Chowdhary observed that “Passport Officer has not to act as mouthpiece of the CID (nodal agency). When an authority is vested with the power, same is to be exercised judiciously and not arbitrarily as has been done in the instant case.”

The Court noted that there was no ground to refuse passport request.

“…there is not an iota of allegation against the petitioner which may point out to any security concerns. The police verification report formulated by CID CIK cannot override the statutory provisions of Section 6 of the Passport Act 1967.”, the Court observed.

The Court noted that on perusal of the report produced by AAG there cannot be any concern with regard to security risk which has been based by the Passport Officer and the appellate authority to deny issuance of Passport.

“Since the Passport applied for by the petitioner has not been issued as the same was not recommended for security clearance by the CID, the decision taken by both, Passport Officer as well as the appellant authority, is misplaced on account of security.”, the Court observed.

While arguing the matter, Jehangir Iqbal Ganai, Senior Counsel for the petitioner vehemently argued that there are no allegations against the petitioner in the CID report and the Passport Officer has not applied mind while rejecting the request of the petitioner for issuance of Passport.

It was further contended that the petitioner is not a member of any banned organization and has a right to travel anywhere in the world.

Asifa Padroo, AAG, appeared for CID whereas T.M.Shamsi, DSGI, appeared for Union of India.

The Court held that the ground on which the request of the petitioner for re-issue of the Passport has been rejected is totally untenable and unsustainable in the eyes of law.

The Court directed the passport officer to consider the entire matter afresh and pass orders within six weeks.

Cause Title- Gulshan Nazir v. Union of India & Ors.

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