SRINAGAR: The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Passport Authority in Srinagar to take a fresh decision on the request for the issuance of a passport to former JK chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti within three months.
The submission was made before a single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh, wherein the Central government’s standing counsel, Kirtiman Singh, told the court that a decision was taken yesterday on Mufti’s appeal and the matter has been remanded to the passport office in Srinagar.
Justice Prathiba M Singh noted that the issue has been pending for two years following an appeal against the rejection; it has now been remanded to the passport officer concerned for reconsideration.
“Considering that the matter has been remanded to the passport officer and the initial rejection was almost two years ago, let the concerned passport officer take a decision expeditiously within three months. The petition is disposed of,” the court ordered.
Notably, the court order came on a petition by Mufti seeking a direction to the authorities to take an early decision on her appeal regarding the issuance of travel documents.
In her plea, the former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister stated that there was considerable delay in issuing a new passport to her despite reminders.
It is pertinent to mention that former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s passport expired on May 31, 2019, after which she applied for a fresh/ renewal of her passport on December 11, 2020. However, she was denied the renewal after which she approached the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
In 2021, a single bench of the HC dismissed her petition, and in April same year she moved and appealed before the division bench of the high court which granted her the liberty to approach the appropriate authority to avail the proper remedy available to her.
“On receipt of the appeal, the authority concerned shall consider and decide the same on its merits, strictly under rules, regulations, and the provisions of the Act, that too un-influenced by the observations made in the judgment impugned dated 29th of March, 2021,” the court said—(KNO)