Passport Renewal: Delhi HC Asks PO To Decide Mehbooba Mufti Plea In 3 Months

Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the Regional Passport Officer (Srinagar) to decide on People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti plea for passport renewal within three months.

A single bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh noted that the matter has been pending for nearly two years.

“Considering that the matter has been remanded to the passport officer and the initial rejection was almost two years ago, let the concerned passport office take the decision expeditiously and in any case in three months,” the bench stated.

The order was passed after Central Government Standing Counsel (CGSC) Kirtiman Singh informed the bench that the passport authorities in Srinagar had been asked to re-examine and make a new determination on Mufti’s application.

Mufti had moved the Delhi High Court for an urgent hearing on her appeal against the order rejecting her passport renewal.

She stated that her passport was cancelled on March 26, 2021, and that she appealed the decision to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, but was later advised that an appeal against the ruling would be allowed under the Passports Act.

In April 2021, the appeal was filed. Despite numerous reminders, no decision was made on the matter.

It is also to be noted that Mufti recently wrote to Union Minister for Foreign Affairs S Jaishankar, requesting his involvement in the issuing of her and her mother’s passports.

Despite wanting to send her mother to Mecca for a pilgrimage, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that “petty politics” have prevented her from doing so.

Mufti further said that she had contacted the Indian Passport Authority numerous times since 2021 but had never received assistance.

She also claimed that, “In Jammu & kashmir it has been the practise to unilaterally deny the passport applications of thousands, including students, journalists, and others, by misusing national interest as a pretext.”

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte