Former Chief Minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti was denied passport by the authorities on Monday. A communication addressed to Mehbooba Mufti by the passport officer has informed her that the J&K CID, which is the nodal agency for verification of applicant's antecedents, has opposed grant of passport to her. Now, J&K High Court on Monday dismissed Mufti's plea seeking issuance of her passport.
The Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magray observed that Mufti's application for a passport was rejected based on the police verification report. Now, the court dismissed the petition claiming it found no reason to interfere in the incidence.
"I am of the considered view that no direction can be issued by this court for issuance of passport in favour of the petitioner. The scope of this court in the matter of grant or otherwise of passport in favour of an individual is very limited...can only direct the concerned authorities to expeditiously consider the case of an individual in the light of the mandate of the scheme of law governing the subject," judge Ali Mohammad Magrey was quoted as saying.
Mufti's passport rejected & why
Mufti's passport was expired on May 31, 2019, post which she applied for renewal on December 11, 2020. The Passport Officer sought police verification from ADGP and SSP, District Srinagar. The police verification hadn't been done in over a month, post which Mufti submitted a representation to the SSP as police verification should be completed within 21 days. That is when she moved the High Court due to no action from the authorities.
"The delay occasioned in issuing the passport in favour of the Petitioner and thereto in restraining the Petitioner from travelling abroad is not only illegal but violates with impunity the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India," the petition filed through M/S Jahangir Ganai Law Associates stated.
Mufti's application for a passport was denied on grounds of "threat to national security." The Passport Officer submitted the report before the court on Monday. MEA had sent a letter to Mufti rejecting her application for passport citing J&K CID's recommendation to "not issue a passport."
Separately, Mufti's mother who had applied for passport was also rejected citing the same reason as "threat to national security."
"Passport office has also rejected my mother's passport application. CID claims that my mother who is well into her seventies is a 'threat to national security' & therefore doesn't deserve a passport. GOI is employing absurd methods to harass & punish me for not toeing their line," Mufti tweeted along with a photo of the MEA letter.