Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti Receives Passport After Three-Year Wait
Mehbooba Mufti's Travel Document Issued Amidst Legal Struggle
04-06-2023 : After a lengthy court struggle, Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, reportedly received a passport with a 10-year validity. She had been trying to have her passport renewed since it had run out in 2019, so.
The timing of the passport issuance is noteworthy since it happens just two days before a hearing in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court about Mehbooba’s daughter, Iltija, who is suing the passport office for refusing to issue her a passport particular to her country.
The newly issued passport to Mehbooba, who served as the last Chief Minister of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state before its bifurcation in 2019, is valid from June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2033.
Earlier this year, in March, the Delhi High Court directed the passport authority to make a decision within three months on issuing a fresh travel document to Mehbooba. The court order came in response to a petition filed by Mehbooba, urging the passport authorities to expedite the decision on her appeal for a new passport.
Mehbooba highlighted the considerable delay in the issuance of her passport, despite multiple reminders, and expressed frustration that no decision was being made on her appeal. The Central government’s counsel informed the court that the appeal had been passed on to the passport officer in Jammu and Kashmir for reconsideration.
In February 2023, Mehbooba had sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, explaining that she had been waiting for her passport for three years to accompany her 80-year-old mother on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
In March 2021, both Mehbooba and her mother were denied passports based on an “adverse report” cited by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
Mehbooba’s long-awaited passport issuance signifies a significant development in her legal battle, providing her with the necessary travel document after a prolonged wait.