Child’s passport can carry stepfather’s name: Punjab and Haryana HC

Child's passport can carry stepfather's name: Punjab and Haryana HC
Child’s passport can carry stepfather’s name: Punjab and Haryana HC

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that a child’s passport can carry the stepfather’s name without a declaration by a court appointing him as a legal guardian.

The ruling came on Wednesday on a petition filed by Mohit (26). The authorities had refused to issue him a passport bearing his stepfather’s name.

The court observed that the marriage of Mohit’s biological parents, S M Arora and Nirmal Arora, was dissolved by a decree of divorce in 1996 by a court in Delhi and his custody was handed over to his mother, who re-married Ujjal Singh in 1997 and got their marriage registered at Panipat.

It said Ujjal Singh’s name was “recorded as father” in the ration card, Mohit’s Aadhaar card, PAN card and school certificates.

Mohit had applied for a passport with his stepfather’s name. The passport authorities, however, relying on Chapter 8 of the Passport Manual Act, 2010, denied him passport in the name of his stepfather.

The provision of the Act states that the name of the stepfather cannot be mentioned in the passport even on re- marriage after divorce unless he is appointed by the court as a legal guardian.

Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain said “the stepfather of the petitioner is his legal guardian for all intents and purposes for which there is no need to obtain an order from the court for his appointment as legal guardian until and unless the capacity of the stepfather, acting as a legal guardian, is challenged by the biological father, especially in a case where the custody is handed over by the court to the mother.”

He ordered the authority to issue to Mohit a passport bearing his stepfather’s name within a month.

( Source – PTI )

Want to come to India but passport suspended: Mallya to Court

Want to come to India but passport suspended: Mallya to Court
Want to come to India but passport suspended: Mallya to Court

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya today informed a Delhi court that he wants to come to India but is unable to travel back as his passport has been suspended by Indian authorities.

Mallya made the submission through his counsel before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass in a case lodged for allegedly evading summons in connection with a FERA violation matter.

On July 9, the court had cancelled the exemption from personal appearance granted to him and had directed him to appear before it.

In his application moved through senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, Mallya requested the court that some time be given so that his appearance can be secured.

The counsel submitted the copy of an email sent by Mallya, stating that his passport was suspended on April 23, 2016 without giving him any opportunity of being heard.

Enforcement Directorate (ED), however, told the court that Mallya is already evading proceedings in several other cases and sought time to reply to the plea moved by him today.

The court has now put up the matter for further hearing on October 4.

The exemption from personal appearance to Mallya was granted in December 2000 on ED’s complaint for evading summons issued to him by it.

The agency had issued summons to the businessman in connection with alleged payment of 200,000 dollars to a British firm for displaying Kingfisher logo in Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

It had claimed that the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from RBI in violation of FERA norms.

In its plea against Mallya filed through prosecutor N K Matta, ED had also sought issuance of non-bailable warrant against the Chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to secure his presence in the ongoing trial of the case, which is at its final stage.

The agency’s plea had said Mallya was reported to be in the United Kingdom and his presence in the trial was essential and had sought court’s direction to him to remain personally present in every hearing.

Matta had argued that the court should recall its December 2000 exemption order as a PMLA court in Mumbai has recently issued an open-ended warrant against him in connection with a money laundering case.

According to ED, Mallya was summoned on four occasions for questioning in connection with a contract signed in December 1995 with London-based firm Benetton Formula Ltd for promotion of the Kingfisher brand abroad.

When Mallya failed to appear before ED in response to the summons, a complaint was filed on March 8, 2000 before a court here and later on charges were framed against him under FERA.

( Source – PTI )

Plea against ‘Aadhaar’; HC asks Delhi govt to respond

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar, Delhi, Unique Identification Authority of India, High court, Ashutosh Chandola, Aadhaar card, Planning Commission,  public services from the Government, voter I-Card, passport

New Delhi: The city government has been asked by the High court here in Delhi to respond to a plea seeking quashing of its executive orders that made Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) or ‘Aadhaar’ compulsory for availing various public services here.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued the notice to the Delhi government on a plea of Ashutosh Chandola that Aadhaar card, which was made optional by the Planning Commission, has now been made mandatory for availing benefits and public services in the national capital.

“Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash executive orders…passed by the Delhi Government vide which Aadhaar has been mandatory for availing all public services from the Government of NCT of Delhi,” according to the petition.

It also said a direction be given to the government to accept other identity and address proofs such as voter I-Card, passport and other documents, prescribed by the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, for availing public services in Delhi.

“The entire (Aadhaar) project (of Planning Commission) is meant to be voluntary in nature and this is reflected in the Aadhaar enrolment form which clearly mentions that the Aadhaar enrolment is free and voluntary,” according to it.

The project was launched to empower the poor, who lack ID proofs, in accessing various welfare and other services. The Government, however, issued executive orders and made Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining various certificates relating to “caste, domicile, income, death and birth.”

Aadhaar has also been made necessary for registration of various documents relating to property, will and marriages, the petition said. It said the constitutional validity of UIDAI has been challenged in the Supreme Court and till the case is decided, “the burden of obtaining an Aadhaar should not be made mandatory on the public for availing public services.”

A passport in three days? New project to roll out soon

The Passport Seva Project, an ambitious e-governance programme that aims at passport delivery in three days, has entered its most crucial stage. The rollout of 77 Passport Seva Kendras is expected to begin any time now in major Indian cities and be completed by January 2012.

Things have not been entirely smooth for the pilot project running for the past year in seven centres in Karnataka and Punjab that are part of the 77 kendras.

But now the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the private service provider, Tata Consultancy Services, are confident enough to introduce the new system in the designated cities.

“We hope to start the Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) within June in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala,” a senior MEA official told .

Thereafter, every month will see the opening of three to five new centres, with 20 kendras becoming operational by September. “We hope to have the total rollout by January 2012,” he said.

This would mean there will be 77 PSKs functioning around the country, along with the 37 current regional passport offices which will be incorporated as back-up centres.

The project aims to streamline the process for issuing passports that had become notorious for long delays and touts and has an ambitious stated aim to deliver a passport within three days.

This month, the MEA will also operationalise the Central Passport Printing Facilities in Delhi, which will mean that instead of blank booklets, only filled-up passports will be sent directly to the kendras, plugging a major security risk.

The other institutions required for the smooth functioning of the project – data centre and disaster recovery centre – are already in place.

The software application developed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to drive the entire project got its certification by a third party audit agency under the Department of Information Technology in January 2011. Incidentally, the start of the project last year had been delayed due to critical errors in software, detected during the testing process.

The crucial aspect of the project is the online application process, with applicants being able to choose their desired date and time for submitting documents for verification at the PSKs.

However, Bangalore applicants often found that the only appointment slots available were after two weeks or more.

“We know that some travel agents with very fast computers were logging in as soon as the appointments began in the morning and filled in all the slots,” said the official.

The problem was compounded by the fact that the kendras had been instructed not to accept walk-in submissions.

After several complaints in Bangalore, the number of appointment slots were increased substantially, walk-in submissions were accepted in certain cases and a new centre was opened in the city to deal with the backlog and additional rush.