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Apex Court to examine provisions on issuance of passport to accused

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine constitutional validity of a provision of the passport law and a notification that provides for issuance of passport for a year only to an accused on receipt of a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from a court.

A Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and AM Sapre issued notice to the Centre and Regional Passport Office at Ghaziabad on the plea of lawyer Prashant Bhushan who gets passport for a period of only one year on account of some FIRs lodged against him for allegedly taking part in protests and ‘dharna’.

“Petitioner had challenged the constitutional validity of Section 6(2)(f) of the Passports Act, 1967 which states that passport shall not be issued/reissued to a person accused of committing any offence.

“The blanket prohibition in Section 6(2)(f) has been partially lifted vide a notification issued in 1993 which states that passport may be issued/reissued if the applicant produces an NOC from the court concerned and if no period is mentioned in the NOC, then the passport shall be issued/ reissued for only one year. The petitioner had also challenged the constitutional validity of this notification,” the plea said. 
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