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Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court orders passport renewal of 1993 blasts absconding accused’s daughter

Mumbai | The Bombay High Court has ordered renewal of the passport of the daughter of an absconding accused of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

A bench of justices R M Savant and Revati Mohite-Dere asked the government last week to renew the passport of absconding accused Salim Abdul Gani Gazi’s daughter Sana Muzammil Majeed, without any “endorsements” restricting her movements.

The bench granted relief to Majeed rejecting the government’s objections and ruling that it has found nothing “adverse against her, except the fact that she happens to be the daughter of an absconding accused.”

The bench gave the order on Majeed’s petition, in which she said she had been given a passport with endorsement to travel only between UAE and India.

In her plea, Majeed had told the court that she is an Indian citizen and currently resides in Dubai with her husband. She said she works in a bank there while her husband is a journalist.

Majeed urged the high court to direct the authorities to vacate restrictions on her passport allowing her to travel only between UAE and India, and sought permission to travel “anywhere in the world,” as long as she was following all visa and related regulations.

Her request, however, had been opposed by the central passport authority.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who appeared for the passport authority, told the bench that restrictions had been imposed on Majeed keeping in mind the identity of her father, and some “intelligence inputs.”

The bench, however, perused the intelligence report submitted by Singh and ruled that there was nothing adverse against the petitioner (Majeed) in it.

“We have perused the report of the intelligence agencies… we do not find anything adverse against her, except the fact that she happens to be the daughter of an absconding accused of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case,” the bench said.

The petitioner must have been a child when the said blasts took place. As indicated above, the petitioner is working in a bank in Dubai and her husband, is also working in the Gulf News. The details of the petitioner and her husband disclose that they have roots in UAE and their whereabouts can therefore, therefore, be stated to be well-known, the court observed.

“Hence, in our view, so far as the petitioner is concerned, the authorities are directed to renew her passport, without any endorsement putting any restriction on her travel,” the bench said.

The court said the authorities were free to initiate appropriate action if any activity of the petitioner was found to be adverse or “prejudicial to the interest” of the nation, or if she acted in any manner that was “against public interest.”

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