How Prajwal Revanna, Accused Of Sex Harassment, Left India Without A Visa

How Prajwal Revanna, Accused Of Sex Harassment, Left India Without A Visa

New Delhi: The sexual abuse case against Janata Dal (Secular) MP Prajwal Revanna has put diplomatic passports in the spotlight as the leader managed to leave India despite the ongoing investigation. The Karnataka government has now requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel his diplomatic immunity so that he can be brought back to India and interrogated. Prajwal Revanna is the grandson of former Prime Minister Deve Gowda.
What is a diplomatic passport?

Diplomatic passports, identified by their maroon cover, differ from regular passports primarily in their privileges and immunities under international law. Issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), diplomatic passports are granted to:

  • Diplomatic status: Individuals with diplomatic status represent the government in official capacities.
  • Government appointees: Those appointed by the government on official business abroad.
  • Senior Officers: Senior officers of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in the rank of Joint Secretary and above.
  • Family Members: Relatives and immediate families of IFS and MEA officers.
  • Selected Persons: This category includes Union Ministers and MPs undertaking official government visits.

Diplomatic passports are valid for five years or less, with validity often linked to the holder’s term of office.

Visa Waiver Agreement: Prajwal Revanna Case

While ordinary citizens require a visa for international travel, holders of diplomatic passports enjoy exemption in some countries. Prajwal Revanna’s case has highlighted India’s visa exemption agreement with Germany established in 2011. The agreement allows Indian diplomatic passport holders to travel to Germany without a visa for up to 90 days.

However, despite visa exemptions, individuals with diplomatic passports are still required to obtain prior political clearance for private trips abroad.

Who can cancel diplomatic passport?

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s call for revoking Prajwal Revanna’s diplomatic passport underlines the legal procedures involved. According to the Passport Act 1967, the passport authority can cancel a diplomatic passport in specific circumstances:

Wrongful possession: If the passport has been obtained through fraud or if the holder is in wrongful possession.

National interest: It can be revoked if it is considered necessary in the interest of India’s sovereignty, integrity, or friendly relations with other countries.

Conviction: If the holder is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years after the passport is issued.

Court orders: Diplomatic passports can be canceled on court orders during criminal proceedings against the holder.

It is important to note that diplomats enjoy certain exemptions, including protection from arrest and prosecution, tax exemptions, and privileges regarding diplomatic premises and belongings.

The Karnataka government has issued a Blue Corner Notice against Prajwal Revanna, who is claimed to be in Germany.

What is a blue-corner notice?

Blue Corner Notices are part of Interpol’s colour-coded notices that enable countries to share alerts and requests for information worldwide. They are international requests for cooperation or alerts that allow police of member countries to share vital crime-related information.

There are seven types of notices – red, yellow, blue, black, green, orange and purple.

A blue notice is given to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in a criminal investigation.
In such a situation, the notice will help in carrying forward the investigation by the investigating agencies against Prajwal Revanna.

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