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HC directs regional passport office to consider returning nurse’s seized passport

The petitioner is a qualified nurse by avocation and had been working at different hospitals in Yemen since 2011.
Last Updated : 06 June 2024, 23:11 IST
Last Updated : 06 June 2024, 23:11 IST

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The high court has directed the Regional Passport Office, Bengaluru, to consider the representation to be submitted by a nurse for release of her passport. The petitioner Shany Jose’s passport was seized on August 19, 2023 when she landed at International Airport in Delhi.

The petitioner is a qualified nurse by avocation and had been working at different hospitals in Yemen since 2011. She was issued a fresh passport at Indian Embassy at Yemen after the expiry with the validity till September 29, 2029. She had to travel back to India on August 19, 2023 to see her ailing father. The Immigration Authorities seized her passport on landing saying that her travel itself was in violation of a notification issued.

The authorities said the relationship between India and Yemen got strained and the union government issued a notification on September 26, 2017 stating that any Indian national who travels to Yemen in violation of the notification shall be liable for action. Any violation of the directions issued in the notification by any holder shall be liable for refusal of passport for a period of seven years.

The petitioner claimed that she had traveled to India from Yemen two times in the past, in April 2014 and December 2020, but was not stopped. The petitioner said that the seizure of the passport for seven years will take away her chances of employment anywhere in the globe.

The court noted that the petitioner was already in Yemen when the notification was issued and is not that the petitioner wanted to travel back to Yemen. The court also noted that in reply to a starred question on the issue, the Minister for External Affairs had said that the government would take a compassionate view in such seizure of passports. The answer also indicated that 169 passports of the kind have already been released.

“In the light of the aforesaid answer by the Minister for External Affairs, I deem it appropriate to permit the petitioner to submit a detailed representation to the Regional Passport Officer, in whose custody the passport of the petitioner is, to consider the case of the petitioner strictly in consonance with what is observed in the course of the order, as also the orders passed by the High Court of Kerala and the High Court of Delhi. Therefore, the writ petition deserves to succeed, albeit in part, only for a direction for consideration of the representation of the petitioner, for redressal of the grievance,” Justice M Nagaprasanna said.

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Published 06 June 2024, 23:11 IST

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