Sunday 23 January 2022
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Mehbooba Mufti, denied passport, sulks

The letter from the passport authority said that the additional director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir CID, had not recommended the issuance of a passport to Mehbooba Mufti

The union government has turned down a passport application from former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Police had opposed granting the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief a passport, citing an “adverse report” against her.

Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID’s report citing it as ‘detrimental to the security of India.”

“This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex Chief Minister (sic) holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation,” she tweeted.

The letter from the passport authority said that the additional director of police, Jammu and Kashmir CID, had not recommended the issuance of a passport to Mehbooba Mufti.

The letter said further that Mehbooba Mufti could appeal against the decision at a higher forum provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Mehbooba Mufti had already moved the high court for issuance of the passport as she had applied for the document last year.

In the petition, Mehbooba Mufti said her passport had expired on 31 May last year and, accordingly, she had applied for a fresh passport before the authority concerned on 11 December 2020.

The counsel of Mufti submitted that according to instructions issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, the passport of an individual is to be issued within 30 days but in the instant case, despite the lapse of three months, passport has not been issued to the petitioner due to the pending police verification. The Enforcement Directorate is currently running a probe against her in connection with a money laundering case.

The union government had placed Mehbooba Mufti, along with several political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, under detention on 5 August 2019 after the Narendra Modi government, via the parliament, scrapped the special status of the former state and bifurcated it into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Mufti was released in October last year.

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