Published: June 6, 2012 14:46 IST |
- , The Hindu -Staff Reporter
Files counter affidavit in a writ filed by anti-nuclear activist S.P. Udayakumar
The Regional Passport Officer (RPO) here has submitted that his office issued a passport to anti-nuclear activist S.P. Udayakumar on September 15, 2010 following a positive police verification report given by Kanyakumari Superintendent of Police but subsequently decided to impound it on the basis of a request made by Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police.
Filing his counter affidavit to a writ petition filed by Mr. Udayakumar, the RPO, V. Sundararaman, said that the petitioner, a resident of Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district, had applied for renewal of his passport, originally issued by the Tiruchi RPO, in July 2010.
Then, a positive police verification report was received from the Kanyakumari SP recommending issuance of the passport.
Hence, the petitioner’s passport was renewed on September 15, 2010. Thereafter, the Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police wrote to the Madurai RPO seeking the petitioner’s passport details as he was involved in more than 72 criminal cases.
Immediately, the RPO furnished the details with a request to investigate as to how a positive report was sent by the Kanyakumari SP.
In reply, the Tirunelveli SP sent another communication through the Chennai RPO stating that the petitioner was involved in more than 98 criminal cases in Kudankulam and Pazhavoor police stations.
He also attached a list containing the details of the case numbers and requested the Madurai RPO to initiate steps for impounding the petitioner’s passport.
On receipt of the communication, the RPO requested the SP to obtain an order from a competent court for impounding the passport.
Simultaneously, he issued a show cause notice to the petitioner on March 3 this year informing him about the contents of the SP’s letter and advising him to surrender the passport within 15 days or to face appropriate action under the Passports Act 1967.
“The petitioner did not surrender the passport until April 16 and accordingly a final decision was taken to impound the passport. The decision was communicated to the petitioner along with his right to prefer an appeal against the decision before the authority concerned… The above action taken by this office is well within the framework of the provisions contained in the Passports Act.
“The procedure followed in the matter and the contents of our show cause notice are neither wilful nor in violation of principles of audi alteram partem (hear the other party too). The show cause notice is also not arbitrary in any manner. It also does not curtail the personal liberty of the petitioner in any way. The action taken by this office is also not with any malafide intention,” the counter affidavit read.
When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Justice K. Venkataraman adjourned it to Thursday following a request made by Central Government Standing Counsel S. Sukumaran. The petitioner was represented by his counsel T. Lajapathi Roy and S. Vanchinathan.
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