Telangana High Court Affirms Right to Personal Liberty Include the right to possess a passport

Telanagana High Court Restriction Welfare Fund Advocates

LI Network

Published on: December 11, 2023 at 15:06 IST

The Telangana High Court, under the stewardship of Justice Surepalli Nanda, has asserted that the right to personal liberty extends beyond the right to travel abroad and encompasses the right to possess a passport.

The judgment came in response to a writ petition filed by an individual whose passport renewal application had been rejected due to a pending criminal case.

Justice Surepalli Nanda stated, “This Court opines that pendency of a criminal case against the petitioner cannot be a ground to deny the renewal of a passport to the petitioner, and the right to personal liberty would include not only the right to travel abroad but also the right to possess a passport.”

The petitioner approached the court after the Regional Passport Office rejected the renewal application citing ongoing criminal proceedings under Section 420 read with Section 34 of the IPC. The petitioner sought directions from the court to compel passport authorities to renew his passport.

In reaching the decision, Justice Nanda invoked precedents set by the Supreme Court in cases such as Sumit Mehta v. State of NCT of Delhi, Menaka Gandhi v. Union of India and another, and Satish Chandra Verma v. Union of India (UOI) and others.

The court granted the petitioner’s plea and directed the respondents to reconsider his application within a week, decoupling it from the pending criminal case.

This ruling not only upholds an individual’s right to personal liberty but also establishes that passport authorities cannot reject renewal solely based on the existence of a criminal case.

Case Title: Ravikanti Venkatesham v. Union of India and Anr.,

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