Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti has been denied a passport after an “adverse” report by the CID of the J&K police.
The J&K High Court dismissed the plea of Ms. Mufti, who had sought expedition of the process to issue her a passport.
“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 said.
Earlier, the Passport Officer, Srinagar, on Monday submitted to the High Court that the ADGP, CID, J&K, has categorised the application of Ms. Mufti as “not recommended passport case”.
“As per norms, clear Police Verification Report (PVR) is mandatory [for issuance of a passport]. The PVR received from the ADGP, CID, does not favour issuance of passport and [was] returned as ‘not recommended for passport case’. In view of the CID report, your case was found to attract refusal under the provision Section 6(2) (c) of the Passport Act, 1967,” the officer’s submission reads.
Ms. Mufti had applied for a fresh passport on December 11, 2020. She has now been asked to appeal before the Joint Secretary (PSP) and the Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, Patiala House, New Delhi, within 30 days “in case of any grievance against the decision”.
Reacting to the decision, Ms. Mufti, in a tweet, said, “[The] Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID’s report citing it as ‘detrimental to the security of India’. This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since August 2019 that an ex-Chief Minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation.”
Ms. Mufti was among dozens of mainstream leaders arrested a day before the Centre ended J&K’s special constitutional position on August 5, 2019. She was released in 2020.