Author : Karthik T, IV year of B.Com.,LL.B.(Hons.) from SASTRA Deemed to be University.
The Passports Act was passed to control the free movement of people leaving the United States. Though the right to free movement is a guaranteed constitutional right under Article 21 of the Constitution, limiting it is considered a gross violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Passports Act was enacted to govern this as a form of positive reinforcement, preventing anyone who could jeopardise the country's sovereignty and dignity from obtaining a passport.
Passports are issued in India by the Passport Seva Kendra, which is the Passport Office's online portal where, after filling out all of the required information, the applicant is guided to his or her nearest Regional Passport Office to complete the remaining formalities. But, enough about how to make a passport; this article is about passport impoundment in general, as specified by Section 10 (3) of the Passports Act, 1967, which states:
10(3) A passport or travel document may be impounded or caused to be impounded or revoked by the passport authority,-
A)If the passport authority determines that the holder of the passport or travel document is in unlawful possession of the passport or travel document.
B)If the passport or travel document was obtained by the withholding of material details or the provision of false information by the holder of the passport or travel document or any other individual on his behalf: [Provided that if the holder of such passport obtains another passport, the passport authority shall either impound or cause to be impounded or revoke any other passport.
C)If the passport authority determines that it is appropriate to do so in the interests of India's sovereignty and integrity, stability, friendly ties with any foreign nation, or the general public;
D)If the holder of the passport or travel document has been convicted by an Indian court of any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years at any time after the passport or travel document was issued;
E)If an offence claimed to have been committed by the holder of the passport or travel document is being investigated by an Indian criminal court;
F)If any of the passport or travel document's conditions have been broken;
G)If the passport or travel document holder has failed to comply with a notice issued under subsection (1) requiring him to surrender the document;
h)If the passport authority is informed that a warrant or summons for the appearance, or a warrant for the arrest, of the holder of the passport or other travel document has been issued by a court under any law currently in force, or if any such court has issued an order prohibiting the holder of the passport or other travel document from leaving India, and
In the most basic terms, Section 10(3) discusses circumstances in which a passport can be impounded, such as:
(a) wrongful possession;
(b) when it is obtained by fraud or misrepresentation;
(c) if the Passport Office deems it necessary to maintain friendly relations with other nation states; and
(d) when a passport holder has been convicted of a crime carrying a sentence of imprisonment upto 2 years.
(e) if the holder of that passport is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation;
(f) if any of the passport's conditions of issue have been broken.
(g) when it is brought to the Passport office's attention that a warrant for arrest or a question of summons has been issued against the holder of such a passport;
(h) when it is brought to the Passport office's attention that a warrant for arrest or an issue of summons has been issued against the holder of such a passport.
How To Get A Passport Impounded
Step1: Determine which sub-section the justification for obtaining someone's passport falls under and draught a written complaint based on that.
Step2: Write a written complaint to your Regional Passport Office's Passport Officer, also known as the Passport Issuing Authority, outlining the facts and circumstances of your case and why you want the passport of such an individual impounded under which sub-section of Section 10 (3).
Step 3: Submit the application to the passport office in your region. After that, the Regional Passport Office will summon both the victim (the person whose passport you wish to have impounded) and the claimant (you, in this case) to make statements as to why the person in question should or should not have his passport impounded within a 15-day period. After the statements have been registered, the Passport Officer makes a decision about whether or not to impound the passport in question.
Step 4 (Optional): If the applicant is unhappy with the result of the process or if the accused wishes to appeal, he or she can do so before the Chief Passport Officer for a final decision.
THE INDIAN PASSPORT ACT 1967