New Delhi, March 16: The central government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it has “no malafide intention” in issuing advocate Prashant Bhushan a passport with an year’s validity instead of the usual 10 years and the decision was taken as crimil cases are pending against him. The government told Justice Rajiv Shakdher that the action to issue a short validity passport of one year to Bhushan was completely in conformity with the prevailing provisions of an August 25, 1993 notification. Bhushan has challenged the government’s refusal to reissue him a passport with full validity. Filing an affidavit, an under secretary in the ministry of exterl affairs, said: “Passport Authority, despite the fact that crimil cases were pending against the petitioner (Bhushan), had never denied the passport facility to him and also at any point of time had no intention to impede, hamper or confine the movement of the petitioner.” The government had informed him that in order to get his passport renewed, he needs to first obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) from the court where crimil cases are pending against him. Though the metropolitan magistrate at Patiala House Courts granted him an NOC, he did not specify the duration of validity of the passport, which led to Bhushan being issued the passport on September 12, 2014 - valid only till September 11, 2015. The government said Bhushan’s request for the re-issue of the passport with full validity cannot be acceded to unless the concerned court issues a fresh order in this regard. (IANS)
'No malafide intent in short-term passport to Prashant Bhushan'