Srinagar, Mar 29:
Seeking dismissal of the writ petition filed by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter for issuance of a passport, the criminal investigation department wing of police has informed the High Court here that her final verification report was forwarded to the concerned department last month.
Iltija,35, sought the intervention of the High Court in February, wherein she stated that her passport was due to expire on January 2 and therefore she had applied for a fresh one in advance on June 8, last year.
“The Passport as per the instruction manual is expected to be dispatched within approximately 30 days…the inaction is discriminatory in nature and unconstitutional,” she said in her writ petition before the court.
She said the passport is required immediately by her as she intends to apply for obtaining a master’s degree in sustainable development from outside the country.
In his response through the counsel, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), headquarters, CID J&K informed the court that the final passport verification report in respect of the petitioner has been forwarded to the Regional Passport Officer, Srinagar on February 16.
“That the petitioner has no ground to approach the Court against the answering respondent because none of the right, whether fundamental or legal, has been infringed by the answering respondent,” the officer said in his reply.
He said the petitioner has wrongly impleaded the department as party respondent in the instant matter as the CID has a mere informative role in the passport proceedings and neither any relief has been or could be sought from it.
“The answering respondents department (CID) primarily is an intelligence wing of the government of J&K and has a limited role to the extent of discreetly verifying the character/Antecedents of persons on the recommendations of the competent authorities. The role of CID ends as soon as the report is forwarded,” he said.
The SSP informed the court that the CID has no prerogative of deciding whether or not to issue the passport, which is the sole domain of passport authorities concerned having a statutory mandate to that extent.
“The passport Authorities as quasi-judicial authorities, decide the applications after conducting inquiry wherein reports are sought from different agencies, including Police, CID etc. The report of the CID has only an assistive and not decisive role in such instances. It is the discretion of the Passport Authority to rely or not to rely on the report of the CID based on its subjective satisfaction,” the officer said.
He said “the contentions or grounds taken by the petitioner do not hold any merit so far as the answering respondent has not committed any discrimination or arbitrariness in order to infringe the rights of the petitioner. The present writ petition is bereft of merit and deserved to be dismissed with costs.”
Earlier, in March 2021, Mehbooba and her 80-year-old mother Gulshan Nazir were refused a passport after J&K police opposed citing an “adverse report” against her.
Mehbooba’s passport expired on May 31, 2019 and she applied for a fresh passport on December 11, the next year, whereas her mother, the wife of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed applied for the same in 2020 to undertake a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Mehbooba’s passport application is still pending but the authorities released the passport of her mother in early February on the directions of J&K High Court.–(PTI)