Passport renewal cannot be denied due to pending criminal case: Telangana HC

Judge stressed that everyone has the right not only to travel but also to own a passport.

Hyderabad: In a significant decision, Justice Surepalli Nanda of the Telangana High Court stated that having a criminal case pending against someone shouldn’t be a reason to refuse the renewal of their passport.

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The judge directed the Regional Passport Officer (RPO-Hyderabad) to process the application of 53-year-old Mancherial resident Ravikanti Venkatesham within a week.

Venkatesham, who is dealing with a cheating case in court, had applied to renew his passport in January. However, the RPO rejected his application, citing his involvement in a criminal case. Objecting to this decision, Venkatesham took the matter to the High Court, arguing that it goes against the rules and fairness.

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Justice Nanda, while settling the matter, stressed that everyone has the right not only to travel but also to own a passport. He referred to a previous decision by the Supreme Court, saying that the law considers a person innocent until proven guilty.

This means that a person facing legal issues still has the right to fundamental freedoms, including the right to travel, according to Article 21 of the Constitution of India. This ruling sets a precedent, emphasizing the importance of respecting basic rights, even when legal matters are ongoing.

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