Passport Cannot Be Seized: Telangana High Court Tells Govt

 - Sakshi Post

Justice T Vinod Kumar of the Telangana High Court said that the police can't hold back the passport of an accused and only a passport officer has the power to impound the passport.  It is said that a person's passport was seized in Bengaluru when he was about to go to the US to work and he is facing 498 A charge.  He challenged the action of seizure of passport as it was contrary to the rules of the Passports Act. 

The state said that the passport is the movable property and can be seized by the police and it couldn't be deposited with the Magistrate in the view of COVID-19 situation. The government also alleged that the petitioner had made inelegant attempts to leave the country. 

Justice Vinod Kumar said that even the court is not having the powers to seize the passport and such powers are vested only with the Passport Officer in specified circumstances. 

He further added that "If the authorities have any apprehension of the petitioner being a flight risk case, the authorities can approach the Magistrate concerned for cancellation of bail or alteration of conditions.”

Vinod Kumar instructed the officials for depositing the passport before the Magistrate and on the merits of the petitioner's case, for consideration thereof.  If necessary, the prosecution was left with the right to move for the seizure of the passport.

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