Shimla HC: Having a passport, travelling abroad is a basic human right

Shimla: In an important judgment, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has said that “the right to obtain a passport and travel abroad is an important basic human right and the denial of such right cannot be allowed in an arbitrary, unjust and oppressive manner”. The court gave this decision on a petition filed by a person, who alleged that the Passport Authority was not renewing his passport on the ground that an FIR was pending against him. Justice Ranjan Sharma, while directing the Passport Authority, Shimla to renew the passport of the petitioner expeditiously in accordance with law without taking into account the pendency of the FIR-criminal case, said that “not renewing the passport or stopping the renewal is tantamount to punishing the petitioner on the basis of mere allegation-suspicion, which is yet to be proved during the trial.” Justice Ranjan Sharma said that “when the State authorities or the Passport Authorities have not pointed out any adverse circumstances that renewal of passport and the right to travel abroad would harm the security of the State, then non-renewal is arbitrary.” The Court observed that “the scope of the right to renewal of passport and travel abroad includes the right to earn a livelihood and live with human dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the inaction of the respondents in stopping or refusing renewal of passport without any concrete evidence is certainly oppressive and arbitrary. The Court, while directing the passport authorities to complete the entire process within three weeks of the receipt of the order, also imposed certain conditions on the petitioner and directed him to furnish a personal bond of Rs.75,000 and a local surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the concerned trial court before going abroad after renewal of his passport.”

Back to top button