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SC notice over Bhushan's passport restrictions

SC notice over Bhushan's passport restrictions

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre on Prashanth Bhushan’s plea challenging the denial of full-validity passport due to a pending criminal case concerning his participation in a 2012 demonstration.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Abhay M Sapre sought a response from the Union government and Ghaziabad Regional Passport office within three weeks on Bhushan’s challenge of the Constitutional validity of Section 6(2)(f) of the Passports' Act 1967 and the relevant notification requiring a person facing a criminal case to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the concerned court.

Senior advocate and Prashanth’s younger brother Jayant Bhushan pointed out that the passport was issued or re-issued for just one year if the NoC made no mention of the period, which would render the notification unconstitutional. 

He said the provision violates right to equality since it does not distinguish serious and not so serious offences and puts equal restriction on the accused while getting new or renewed passport.

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