After a prolonged legal battle in the Delhi High Court, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has been issued a passport with a validity of 10 years, PTI reported quoting sources in Sunday. Her travel document expired in 2019 and since then she had been seeking its renewal.
It came barely two days ahead of a hearing in Jammu and Kashmir High Court where Menbooba's daughter Iltija's plea challenging the decision of the passport office to give her a country-specific passport is to come up.
The passport given to Mehbooba, who was the last chief minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state before it was bifurcated in 2019, is valid from June 1, 2023, till May 31, 2033.
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The Delhi High Court in March this year had asked the passport authority to decide within three months on issuing a fresh travel document to the PDP chief.
"Considering that the matter is remanded back to the passport officer and the initial rejection was two years ago, let the passport officer concerned take a decision expeditiously and in any case within three months," Justice Prathiba M Singh had noted in the order in March this year.
The court's order had come on a petition by Mehbooba seeking a direction to the passport authorities to take an early decision on her appeal regarding the issuance of a new passport.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said in her plea that there was a considerable delay in issuing a new passport to her despite reminders.
She said no decision was being taken on her appeal.
The Central government's counsel had informed the court that an order was passed on the appeal on March 2 and the matter has been sent to the passport officer in Jammu and Kashmir for reconsideration.
In February this year, Mehbooba had sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for the issuance of the passport, saying she had been waiting for it for the past three years to take her 80-year-old mother on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
In March 2021, Mehbooba and her mother were denied passports after the Jammu and Kashmir Police had cited an "adverse report". (PTI)