The Bombay High Court on Monday disposed of a plea sumbitted by Samajwadi party leader Abu Asim Azmi and directed him to approach the appellate authority under the Passports Act in order to avail of a new passport. Azmi had moved the court after the passport office rejected his application for a new passport as his earlier passport had expired and his diplomatic passport was not valid anymore.
In his plea,Azmi stated that he was issued a passport in 1997 for a period of 10 years. In 2002,after he was elected the Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha,he was issued a diplomatic passport. After his term as the member of parliament concluded in 2008,the validity of his diplomatic passport too expired.
He then submitted an application for a new passport,but was rejected by the assistant passport officer as nine criminal cases were pending against him.
Azmi contended that even though there were nine cases against him,he has not been convicted in any of them. He also contended that the cases against him are politically motivated since he is not a member of the ruling party. He urged the court to direct the passport authorities to issue him a passport since he is a law abiding citizen and has assets in the country.
Advocate Rajiv Chavan who is appearing for the passport authorities opposed the plea on the grounds that some criminal cases are pending against Azmi.
A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud observed that section 325 has been slapped on him in a case. Court said that it was for causing grievous hurt. The court then directed him to approach the appellate authority nd disposed of the petition.