Faulty passport: MEA told to pay Rs 4.75L to trader

Faulty passport: MEA told to pay Rs 4.75L to trader

A civil court in Assam has directed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to pay a City-based businessman a compensation of Rs 4.75 lakh, along with an interest of six per cent per annum and litigation expenses, for issuing him a faulty passport, which resulted in his deportation from Macau in China, where he had been on a 10-day holiday, in November 2008.

Anand Jain, hailing from Assam, has been a resident of the City for the last 15 years. Trouble started for him on November 24, 2008, as he entered the Macau airport. He was detained by the immigration officials, who quizzed him for hours together.

A local court at Kamrup directed that he be paid Rs 1.75 lakh (air ticket price) and Rs three lakh as compensation, along with interest from the date of filing of the suit till realisation.
“The officials told me that the passport was tampered with and the date of expiry was overwritten and I was denied an entry into the country. After questioning, I was deported to India,” he told Deccan Herald.

After his return, he took a new passport as it was necessary for his business and filed a case in the consumer court against the MEA, seeking damages.

However he was told that a suit cannot be filed against the Government of India in a consumer court.

Jain then filed a civil suit in Assam, where he had obtained passport. In his petition, he said that despite his holiday being planned in advance by booking air tickets and hotel reservations, he had to suffer mental stress and monetary loss, for no fault of his.

There was no response from the authorities, despite bringing the matter to their notice. He demanded compensation for the deficiency of service.