Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Monday sought response from Union government and Regional Passport Officer (RPO) Srinagar besides police authorities on a plea by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija , seeking directions for the issuance of passport.
A bench of Justice Rajesh Sekhri issued the notice and T. M. Shamshi, Deputy Solicitor General of India accepted the notice on behalf of the union of India through the Ministry of External Affairs, and RPO. The Court also issued to Additional Director General of Police (CID), Jammu and Kashmir, returnable within two weeks.
In her plea, the 35-year-old has pleaded that she needs the travel document immediately to pursue her higher education outside the country.
She said that her passport expired on January 2, and 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 says in her plea.
In the petition, she said that the passport is required immediately by her as she intends to apply for obtaining a masters degree in sustainable development from outside the country.
“In this view of the matter, the delay occasioned in issuing the passport in favour of the petitioner and thereto in restraining the petitioner from travelling abroad is not only illegal but violates with impunity the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the respondents by an appropriate writ are required to be directed to issue passport in favour of the petitioner,” she said in her petition.
In March 2021, Mehbooba and 80-year-old mother Gulshan Nazir were refused passports after Jammu and Kashmir Police cited “adverse report”.
Mehbooba’s passport expired on May 31, 2019, and she had applied for a fresh passport on December 11 next year, while her mother, wife of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, had also applied for a passport in 2020 to undertake a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Mehbooba’s passport application is still pending but authorities released the passport of her mother last week, a month after the high court passed fresh directions to the passport officer.