September 2, 2021 9:44:25 am
The Madras High Court on Wednesday permitted DMDK founder Vijayakanth’s wife Premalatha to go abroad, particularly to the US, to attend to her husband who is there for medical treatment.
Justice R Mahadevan granted the permission subject to certain conditions and passed interim orders on the writ petition from Premalatha Wednesday.
The conditions include a direction to her to appear before the Regional Passport Authority in Chennai immediately and file an affidavit of undertaking that she would appear before the authority/any other jurisdictional court as and when required.
The undertaking shall contain the travel particulars regarding the date of departure as well as return and place of travel, among others. On filing of the undertaking, the authority shall issue the passport to the petitioner immediately after making enquiry, if any, with respect to other issues. After return to India, the petitioner shall appear before the authority along with the passport, the judge said.
According to the petitioner, she was issued a passport on April 23 this year. However, due to the pendency of an alleged criminal case before a lower court in Tirunelveli, the passport authority, by an order passed on August 28, directed her to surrender the document.
Subsequently, the authority advised the petitioner to produce no objection certificate from the court concerned if she wants to go abroad.
According to senior counsel P Wilson, his client Premalatha has not received any summons/notice from the court concerned where the criminal case was said to be pending trial.
In such circumstances, the judge said the communication impugned herein directing the petitioner to produce no objection certificate to travel abroad is arbitrary, illegal and violative of the fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court had held that travelling to a foreign country is also a fundamental right and refusal to issue passport or withdrawal of the same would certainly violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Furthermore, the petitioner intended to travel abroad only for her husband’s treatment.
“Therefore, this court, to meet the ends of justice, is inclined to grant permission to the petitioner to travel abroad subject to certain conditions,” the judge said.
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