Revocation of passport far too wide and excessive: HC

Revocation of passport far  too wide and excessive: HC

The Delhi High Court in August 2014 restored the passport of industrialist and cricket administrator Lalit Modi, because it held that its revocation three years ago had been a “far too wide and excessive” action against him as his only offence was “non-compliance of summons” issued by the Enforcement Directorate.

“The revocation order is far too wide, excessive and/or disproportionate to the ‘mischief’ ‘or ‘evil’ of non-compliance of summons issued by the Directorate of Enforcement,” a division bench of the Delhi High Court observed in its judgment on August 27, 2014.

The Delhi High Court’s order restoring Modi’s passport in fact came just a few weeks after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj acted on a request from the former Indian Premier League commissioner and told British High Commissioner in New Delhi that India would not have any objection if the UK granted him a travel document to visit Portugal to be present during a surgery his wife would undergo there.

Modi needed the travel document from the British government as he was in London and he did not have a valid passport to travel out of the UK.

 The ED had on October 4, 2010 written to the Regional Passport Officer in Mumbai that the passport of Modi should be revoked as a complaint had been lodged against him under section 13 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act and he had been issued a show-cause notice for non-compliance summonses issued by the agency.

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