Impounding of Passport

Pendency of criminal case against the holder of passport would not automatically result in impounding of his passport and the mere fact that certain conditions specified in Section 10(3) of the Passport Act, on the basis of which a passport can be impounded, subsists in a given case cannot by itself result in impounding of passport automatically and once the Passport Authority, in his wisdom, chooses to exercise his discretion in the said direction as to whether on account of pendency of such criminal case, the passport in question should be impounded or not, then, at the said point of time, the Passport Officer should apply his mind looking into the nature of the criminal cases that have been lodged/initiated against the individual and further if a passport is not impounded, then there are possibilities that the incumbent would not at all face the criminal cases. Even if a criminal case is pending against a person that by itself does not require Passport Authority to impound/revoke the Passport in every given case. It is only in appropriate cases for adequate and cogent reasons such an order could be passed. While passing order of impounding/revocation of passport, merely by quoting the requirement mentioned in the section is clearly indicative of circumstances that order has been passed without there being any objective consideration of the subject matter. Mohd. Farid v. Union of India, 2017 (1) AWC 475.

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