SRINAGAR: The External Affairs Ministry has refused a renewed passport to the former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti. She broke the news by uploading the formal communication she received from the Regional Passport Officer (RPO).
The passport was rejected on the basis of an “adverse” police verification report. Police verification, usually done by the CID wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police is mandatory for getting a passport.
The letter has suggested Mehbooba to appeal against the decision at a higher level in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
“Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID’s report citing it as ‘detrimental’ to the security of India,” Ms Mufti wrote on twitter. “This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex Chief Minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation.”
Ms Mufti had gone to the court of law against MEA for not renewing her passport. The High Court had issued a notice to the local administration as well. She had pleaded that the police had not forwarded their verification report to the RPO.
“The petitioner has been a member of the state Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir and a member of Indian Parliament, representing Anantnag Constituency in the 14th and 16th Lok Sabha,” her petition to the High Court had said. “The petitioner has also served as a Chief Minister of J&K state from April 4, 2016, to June 19, 2018.” Her petition had highlighted her right to hold a passport under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Ms Mufti was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate last week in a case of money laundering.