ALLAHABAD: The petition of a person seeking directions to passport authorities that he be allowed to get photographed wearing a skullcap was trashed by the Allahabad High Court on the grounds that he had "concealed material facts".
A division bench comprising Justices Dilip Gupta and Narayan Shukla dismissed the petition on January 23 filed by Ziyaul Haque, who had described himself as "a religious person who has obtained a degree in Mufti from Deoband".
The petitioner had applied for a passport at the Passport Sewa Kendra, Varanasi, last year and had sought the court's direction to concerned authorities that he "may not be required to take off his cap while taking his photograph".
The petitioner had submitted before the court the reply he had received from the Information Officer at the Office of Passport in Lucknow to his RTI query which stated that he could wear his cap "but his face should be clearly visible".
He had further alleged that the passport authorities at Varanasi were, nevertheless, adamant that his application would not be processed until he got himself photographed with his skull cap off.
However, appearing on behalf of the respondent authorities, Assistance Solicitor General of India Gyan Prakash submitted that as per records of his application before the passport office at Varanasi, "the petitioner has already been photographed without a cap" and that he had thereafter requested that the photograph be "replaced" with another one in which he is wearing the skull cap.
"The petition should be dismissed as the petitioner has concealed facts," the ASG contended.
Expressing displeasure over the fact that "the petitioner has not mentioned these facts in the writ petition", the court dismissed the petition pointing out that he "has not placed any material before the court to show that his personal laws/customs/usages prohibit him from removing his cap".