Security paramount, send request for release of passport: Karnataka HC to nurse

The passport of Shany Jose, was seized by immigration authorities for travelling to Yemen, in violation of the notification issued by the Government of India in 2017, prohibiting Indian citizens from travelling to Yemen due to national security.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

BENGALURU: Declining to interfere with the seizure of the passport of a nurse from Dakshina Kannada, on the ground that the security of the nation is paramount, the Karnataka High Court directed her to submit a representation to the Regional Passport Officer in Bengaluru for the release of the passport.

The passport of Shany Jose (48) was seized by immigration authorities in August 2023 for travelling to Yemen, in violation of the notification issued by the Government of India in 2017, prohibiting Indian citizens from travelling to Yemen due to national security.

Disposing of Jose’s petition, Justice M Nagaprasanna said: “If any notification or law is brought into force for the purpose of security of the nation, courts exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 would be loathe to even consider such cases, as the security of the nation is paramount.”

Jose joined a hospital in Yemen in 2011 and worked until July 2022. She used to visit India intermittently. Meanwhile, she travelled back to India as her father had fallen ill. When she arrived at Delhi airport on August 18, 2023, to visit her father, immigration authorities seized her passport on the ground that her travel itself violated the notification issued after the relationship between India and Yemen had strained.

Meanwhile, she had given an undertaking before the authorities that she would never travel back to Yemen because of the prohibition, which came to her knowledge after the seizure.

The Centre has informed court that around 422 passports have been seized by Indian authorities for travelling to Yemen. To mitigate the sufferings of people who had travelled to Yemen due to job compulsions or ignorance, the government has issued guidelines to all passport-issuing authorities (PIA) to release the passports on a case-to-case basis.

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