A passport can be renewed even if there is a pending criminal case under Section 498A of the IPC and dowry cases under the Dowry Prohibition Act. The restriction is applicable to the travel abroad of an accused person. An accused cannot travel abroad on their passport without the permission of the court.
According to a notification dated August 25, 1993 (GSR 570 (E)), and in accordance with the powers vested by clause (a) of Section 22 of the Passports Act, 1967 (15 of 1967), the Central Government of India, in the interest of public welfare, issued an exemption.
This exemption superseded an earlier notification, Government of India’s Ministry of External Affairs No. G.S.R. 298(E) dated April 14, 1976. The exemption pertains to citizens of India who have pending criminal proceedings against them in an Indian court.
These individuals, who can produce court orders allowing them to leave India, are exempted from certain provisions outlined in clause (f) of sub-Section (2) of Section 6 of the Passports Act.
Under this exemption, the following conditions apply:
(a) Passports issued to such citizens will have specific validity periods based on court orders:
- If the court specifies a period for which the passport should be issued, it shall be issued for that duration.
- In the absence of a specified period in the court’s order, the passport shall be issued for a one-year period.
- If the court’s order permits travel abroad for less than one year but does not specify the passport’s validity, a one-year validity shall be granted.
- If the court allows travel abroad for a period exceeding one year without specifying the passport’s validity, it will be issued for the duration of travel specified in the court’s order.
(b) Passports issued with one-year validity or those with unspecified validity in court orders can be renewed for one year at a time, provided the individual has not traveled abroad for the period sanctioned by the court. Additionally, the court order should remain unchanged during the renewal process.
(c) Passports issued as per the court’s specific order can be renewed only when a fresh court order specifies an extended validity period for the passport or a period for travel abroad.
(d) Individuals falling under this exemption must provide a written undertaking to the passport issuing authority, confirming their commitment to appearing before the relevant court if required during the validity of the passport issued under these provisions.