Attempts by Qudsia Begum and her father to get passport of her husband impounded turn futile

It has been an agonising wait for her. Seven years of marital disharmony and no end in sight. Like any newly-wed, Qudsia Begum had lots of hopes and dreams. But all these came crashing down when her husband Mohammed Shariff walked off leaving her in a lurch. Her crime was not bringing enough dowry.

Spirited fight

Qudsia's story is nothing new. There are scores of such unfortunate girls suffering for no fault of theirs. What is unique about Qudsia is her never-say-die spirit to bring her tormentor to heel. Her 71-year-old father Mohd. Moinuddin has stood like a rock of Gibraltar in her fight for justice. Though a dowry harassment case under Section 498-A has been booked against Shariff and four others, no action could be initiated since he allegedly escaped to Saudi Arabia. Efforts to get his passport revoked have been a series of botched attempts.

After much persuasion, the DCP (DD) wrote to the Regional Passport Officer, Secunderabad, in August 2006 for impounding Shariff's passport bearing No. A7087295. The RPO impounded the passport in March 2007, but long after it had expired on June 18, 2005. “There was practically no effect of impounding an expired passport. Authorities ought to have impounded the passport of my son-in-law renewed in Jeddah,” says Mr. Moinuddin.

Interestingly, Shariff was alleged to have come to Hyderabad on his renewed passport in July 2006, but the police failed to take action even after being informed, it is said.

Nevertheless, Mr. Moinuddin nor his daughter did not lose heart. Their unrelenting efforts through the RTI Act revealed that Shariff had obtained a new passport from Indian Mission in Jeddah on April 19, 2005.

The faux pas occurred as the ‘drill entry' was not done after the old passport was impounded. An undeterred Qudsia then approached the Central Information Commission, Delhi, for revoking the new passport of her husband.

Here again there was a slip-up. Though the Consulate General of India at Jeddah revoked the new passport on April 19, 2010 it failed to inform the Saudi Arabia authorities. “How strange that Shariff continues to work in Saudi Arabia without any valid passport,” asks Mr. Moinuddin. What pains him is the administrative lapses and apathy.

Last year, when he went for Haj, he met the Consulate General of India at Jeddah and urged him to take action for deporting his son-in-law. But so far nothing has been done. For Qudsia it has been a miserable time - raising her son all alone without any financial support. All she wants is to forget the whole thing like a bad dream. But not before getting justice.

  • RPO impounds passport in March 2007, long after it had expired on June 18, 2005

  • Police fail to take action even after being informed, when accused visits city in 2006