Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti on Wednesday knocked the doors of the High Court in Srinagar to get her pending passport issued.
Failing to get her passport for over eight months after applying for the same, Ms. Mufti, 35, filed a petition against the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi; Additional Director General of Police, CID, R.R. Swain and Passport Officer, Regional Passport, Boulevard Road, Srinagar, before the High Court here.
Ms. Mufti pleaded before the court that she required the passport immediately as she intended to apply for obtaining a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development from outside the country.
Right to liberty
“The delay has an effect of imposing restrictions on the rights vested upon her by the Constitution of India, which guarantees her freedom to travel abroad. Right to travel abroad inheres in right to life and liberty as guaranteed under Article 21. This right cannot be curtailed except in accordance with the procedure established by law,” the petition reads.
She pleaded that restraining her from travelling abroad is “not only illegal but violates with impunity the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution”.
Ms. Mufti also attached her letters written to Jammu and Kashmir CID chief Swain and the Passport Officer.
“Your consistent inaction in withholding my passport on arbitrary grounds is a complete violation of my fundamental right and is causing me severe distress. I have been a law-abiding citizen and fail to understand why the process is being misused to deprive me of something I am entitled to as a citizen of this country,” Ms. Mufti’s letter addressed to the Passport Officer reads.
Ms. Mufti became vocal on the issues related to Kashmir, especially after the Centre ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional position in 2019. Mehbooba’s mother was also denied passport earlier but was reissued after the court intervention this month.