• LAWGIC STRATUM

THE PASSPORT ACT 1967- OVERVIEW

Author: Karthik .T



INTRODUCTION:


The Indian Passport Act, passed in 1920, was renamed “The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920” and is still in force, requiring all visitors to India to have a passport. The Ministry of Home Affairs is in charge of enforcing this rule, which was upheld in the case of Satwant Singh Sawhney v. D.Ramarathnam Assistant Passport Officer[1] The right to travel and go abroad, is a constitutional right guaranteed by virtue of Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and personal liberty. To prevent arbitrariness, the Supreme Court ruled that law could control the issuance of passports. In 1967, the Passports Act was passed as a result of this.


The passport regulations were first published in 1980 and then were updated in 2006. The Central Passport Organization is a Ministry of External Affairs with its subordinate office led by the Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer.


What types of passports and travel documents are there?


There are three types of the passport they are


1. Regular passport: The cover of a regular passport is navy blue. It's known as a regular passport because it's provided for regular travel, such as holidays and business trips. It's a form "P" passport, which stands for "personal."

2. Diplomatic passport: The cover of a diplomatic passport is maroon. It is provided to people with diplomatic status or who have been delegated by the Indian government for official duty abroad. It's a form "D" passport, with "D" standing for “diplomatic”. IFS officers and Ministry of External Affairs officers are usually given diplomatic passports.

3. Official passport: Individuals representing the Indian Government on official business are given an official passport, which has a white cover. It is usually provided to RBI officials, Government Ministers, and other Government Officials. It's a form "S" passport, with the letter "S" standing for "Service."


An identification document issued by a country or a foreign treaty organization is known as a travel document. The following are the different types of travel documents:


1.Certificate of identity to establish a person's identity any other certificate or document as may be prescribed.

2.Emergency certificate authorizing a person to join India.


What documents must be submitted in order to obtain a passport?


Proof of current address, DOB proof, and documentary proof for any of the non-ECR categories are needed if a person is an adult and a citizen of India by birth.

In addition to the previously listed documents, a person who is a citizen of India by descent must apply either a birth registration certificate issued by an Indian Embassy, high commissioner, or consulate or an old passport in original, or a passport of parents with a new name in original.

A citizenship certificate issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, in addition to the previously listed documents, is required if a person is an Indian citizen by registration.

If the citizen is a minor, the parent(s) must include evidence of current address as well as initial and self-attested copies of the parent's passport if the parent has one.

Water/electricity/telephone bills, proof of a gas link, Aadhaar card, and rental agreement are all appropriate proofs of address. Birth certificates, matriculation certificates, Aadhar cards, PAN cards, and driving licenses are all valid proofs of DOB.




What is the procedure for obtaining a new passport?


To begin, one must first register online and then log in using the registered id. The user must choose between a new passport application and a passport reissue. Payment must be made electronically after submitting the form. The produced application receipt, along with original documents, must be presented at the Passport Seva Kendra on the scheduled appointment date.


What reasons would the passport authority have to deny a new or current passport application?


Passports can be refused by passport authorities,if the applicant's presence in such country may, or is likely to, jeopardize India's sovereignty and integrity, or if the applicant's presence in such country may, or is likely to, jeopardize India's security, or if the applicant's presence in such country may, or is likely to, jeopardize India's friendly relations with that or any other country.


Who is the owner of a passport?


The Government of India owns any passport or travel document released under this Act.


What are the reasons for a passport holder's passport being revoked or impounded?


The passport authority may, by written notice, require the holder of a passport or travel document to surrender the passport or travel document to it within the period stated in the notice, and the holder must comply with such notice. The following are the conditions for passport impoundment or revocation:


  • If the passport holder is in illegal possession of it,

  • If the passport was obtained by falsifying or concealing material information;

  • If the passport authority determines that it is appropriate to do so in the interests of India's sovereignty and integrity, stability, friendly ties with any foreign nation, or the general public;

  • If the holder of the passport or travel document has been convicted by an Indian court forany crime involving moral turpitude and sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison for that crime at any time after the passport or travel document was issued;

  • If the holder of the passport or travel document is facing criminal charges in India for an alleged crime committed by the holder of the passport or travel document.

  • If any of the passport or travel document's provisions have been breached.


What is the punishment for disobeying the act's provisions?


For the different offenses mentioned, the penalty is either imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to five thousand rupees or both. A non-citizen faces a sentence of incarceration for a period of not less than one year, which may be extended up to five years, and a fine of not less than ten thousand rupees, which may be increased to fifty thousand rupees.


If a person who has been convicted of an offense under this act is convicted again, the sentence may be doubled.


Who has the authority to arrest or seize a person who is subject to a reasonable restriction?


Any officer of customs, police officer, or emigration officer not below the rank of sub-inspector, can arrest and search any place or seize any passport of any person against whom a fair suspicion exists that he has committed any offense punishable under section 12 without a warrant. The reason for his arrest should be explained to him, and he should be brought before a Magistrate as soon as possible.


Reference:

[1]1967 AIR 1836, 1967 SCR (2) 525

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