The Passports Act, 1967

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The Passport Act, 1967 was enacted and came in to existence from 5th May, 1967 by parliament of India for dealing with the issuance of passport and other travel documents incidental thereto. Act also lays special regulation regarding the departure of Indian citizens from India and for other matters connected with. Prior to the Act, the Government of India had issued passports to the citizens in exercise of its power on foreign relations. The Act repealed the Indian Passport Ordinance, 1967 and been enacted by the Act 15 of 1967. The Act by laying rules and regulations also describes the procedures for getting a passport.

Act consists of 27 Sections in brief and explanations provided thereto. The Act applies to whole of India and to the citizens of India who living outside the Country. Under Section 3, person whoever make attempt to depart from India must holds a valid passport or travel document on his behalf. Passport includes a passport which been issued by or under the authority of Government of a Foreign Country and satisfies the conditions which prescribed under the Passport (Entry in to India) Act, 1920 and travel document includes a document which been issued by the Government of a foreign country

There are certain classes of passports and travel documents a specified in Section 4 and passport types includes ordinary, official and diplomatic passport and classification of travel documents namely emergency certificate authorizing a person to enter India, Certificate of identity for the purpose of establishing the identity of person and other as prescribed. Any person who has to visit foreign country or countries can make application for the issue of passport or travel document under Act by accomplishing certain fees. The Passport authority can refuse the application or issuance of passports and other travel documents as specified in Section 6 as the presence of applicant in foreign country been cause detrimental to the security and integrity of India.

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Act specifies duration or time limit of passport under Section 7, issuance of passport differs from classes for different categories. Where passport issued for shorter period and it could be extendable by the passport authorities for the further period as specified in Section 8. Passport Authority as laid in Section 10 with the prior approval of the Central Government has the authority to cancel or revoke the passport or travel document. Any person who aggrieved by the order of the passport authority can make appeal against the order and by providing no appeal can be taken against the order made by Central Government. Person whoever contravenes the provision of Section 3 or make false information while obtaining a passport, fails to produce for inspection of his passport, knowingly uses another person passport be punished as laid out in Section 13.

No suit or legal proceedings shall lie against the Central Government as Act laid in good faith as dealt in Section 16. Passport and travel document issued been act as the property of the Central Government in all times as specified in Section 17. Under Section 20 of the Act, Central Government can issue a passport or travel document to a person who is not being a citizen of India as government issues it with the interest of public. Central Government under Section 21 has power which exercise or perform under the Act other than the power as specified under Section 6 (1) (d) and power to exempt any person or class of person as specified in Act. Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette not only has power to delegate but also to make rules for carrying out the provisions of Act. Rules relating to the appointment, jurisdiction and function of passport authorities, the period for which passports and travel documents has its continuance, application of issuance or renewal of passport.

The Supreme Court in its Judgment in Satwant Singh Vs. Union of India pronounced the term right to travel as Fundamental right as specified under Article 21 of Indian Constitution and implemented the decision as government has no right to refuse a passport to any person who had applied and the necessity existed to regulate the issuance of passport and travel documents by specified law. To protect the integrity and security of India passport authorities lays certain rules and regulation to decrease the criteria of duplicate passport and unlawful activities.

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by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar.