For passport, adoption deed has to be legal: HC
Every Indian citizen has the fundamental right to travel abroad, the Delhi High Court has held while noting that nobody can be denied a passport for want of compulsory registration of an adoption deed.
To obtain a passport, the adoption of the applicant has to be legal and there is no compulsion that it must be registered, Justice Manmohan held while deciding a petition and directed the Passport authority to decide petitioner's request for passport in accordance with law within four weeks.
"This court is of the view that every citizen of India has the fundamental right to travel abroad. Though the said right is subject to reasonable restrictions, yet this court is of the opinion that the restrictions have to be in accordance with law and the same cannot be unreasonable," the bench said.
The court's order came on a petition in which a passport seeker had claimed that passport office had refused to issue him a passport on the ground that his adoption deed dated September 20, 1989 had not been registered with the office of sub-registrar.
The Centre, in turn, submitted that the petition is premature as no decision on petitioner's application has been taken by the passport authority till date.
"Since Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 does not provide for compulsorily registration of an adoption deed and a new adoption deed cannot now be registered in the present case as the age of the petitioner is above 15 years, this court is of the view that the petitioner cannot be directed to produce a registered adoption deed," the court said.
It also noted that in one of its earlier judgements, it had held that "a citizen who furnishes incorrect/false information cannot be issued a passport.
"Further, the court in the aforesaid judgement held that for issuance of a passport, the adoption of the applicant has to be legal. However, this court never held that an adoption deed must be compulsorily registered."