Another good judgment based on landmark rulings from DB of Bombay High Court as well as Apex Court, on renewal of a Passport for full term of 10 years.
Ashok Roopchand Jain Vs State of Maharashtra and Ors on 04 Mar 2020
6. In view of the directions given by this Court in the said judgment, therefore, the Respondents were duty bound to follow the said directions and ought to have renewed thepassport for a period of ten years. It has to be borne in mind that whenever a criminal complaint is pending against an applicant, who wishes to travel abroad, the Magistrate alone has a jurisdiction to impose conditions regarding his right to travel abroad. If the Magistrate is satisfied that the Applicant should not be permitted to travel abroad, he can reject his application. However, when an application is made forrenewal of passport, the Passport Authorities have to adhere to the provisions of the Act and the Rules framed thereunder. It appears that the Central Government has issued a Notification by exercising a power vested in them under section 6(2)(f) of the Passports Act, 1967 and in the said Notification, it has been mentioned that the passport can be renewed for a period of one year. There being an ambiguity under the provisions of the Act and the Rules and the Notification issued by the Passport Authorities, this Court was pleased to clarify the said ambiguity in the case of Narendra Ambwani (supra). The Passport Authorities do not have the right to decide whether the accused has a right to travel abroad or not and that right is vested in the Magistrate, who can impose condition if an application is made, seeking permission to travel abroad. The Apex Court in the case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India [(1978) 1 SCC 248 : 1978 SCR (2) 621)] has held that the right to travel for the purpose of business and service is a part of a fundamental right, subject to reasonable restrictions, which are imposed by the Act and by the Court. In the present case, the Applicant on account of his service as a Flight Person has to travel abroad continuously and there is no possibility of absconding since he has to return back along with the fight. Taking into consideration the aforesaid facts, we direct the Passport Authorities to renew the passport for a period of 10 years. It is clarified that, however, the Applicant will have to apply to the Magistrate seeking permission to travel abroad. If such an application is made, the Magistrate may impose such conditions as deem ft and proper.”