CHENNAI: The Regional Passport Officer in Chennai today informed the Madrs High court that there was no need to impound the passport issued to Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister Jayabal Arumugam under the Indian Passports Act, 1967.
One Kaliamoorthy had alleged that the Minister had obtained passport under Tatkal scheme suppressing the facts regarding a criminal case pending against him in the Judicial Magistrate court in Nagapattinam district, which is against the provisions of Indian Passport Act.
The Regional Passport Officer (RPO) submitted that the Nagapattinam police had registered a case against 26 persons, including Jayabal, under Tamil Nadu Public Properties Act on November 1, 2006, on a complaint from one Sakthivel.
A final report by police in the case was submitted to the the Judicial Magistrate on March 14, 2014.
Meanwhile, following a petition by the Minister and others, the High Court had quashed further proceedings in the case, following which the Magistrate had discharged all the accused in the case on June 27 this year.
The Pasport Officer submitted that as per the report of the Superintendent of Police, Nagapattinam, on the date of application of the passport, there was no cognizance taken in any case by any court in Nagapattinam against Jayabal.
A clear police verification report was also submitted by the Commissionr of Police, Chennai.
The Passport Officer submitted that the Minister had declared in his passport application that he has not been charged with criminal proceedings nor is there any arrest warrant or summons pending before any court against him.
As per various Supreme Court judgments, it cannot be construed that the applicant has suppressed material information of criminal cases pending against him and therefore the action of the Minister does not attract relevant section of impounding of passport issued to him under the Indian Pass Ports Act, 1967, the Passport Officer told the court. As per the orders of High Court, a copy of the decision taken by the Regional Passport Officer was submitted to the Registry of the Court.