This Article is From Mar 29, 2021

Government Denied Passport Over "National Security": Mehbooba Mufti

Government Denied Passport Over 'National Security': Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti hit out at the centre in a tweet. (File)

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti -- who was placed in detention for more than a year and is currently being investigated in a money laundering case -- has been refused a passport. The 61-year-old  tweeted today to say that the passport office has cited a report of Jammu and Kashmir's Criminal Investigation Department, which has refused to give a go ahead.

"Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID's report citing it as 'detrimental to the security of India. This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex Chief Minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation," her tweet read.

The letter from the passport authorities attached with the tweet says her application, made in December last year, had been forwarded for police verification, but a negative report was received.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed Ms Mufti's petition, in which she had asked that the passport authority be asked to issue her passport. Pointing out that the police verification report has recommended against it, Justice Ali Mohammad Magray said, "In such circumstances, I am of the considered view that no direction can be issued by this court... in favour of the petitioner".

He added that the scope of the court in this matter is "very limited" and it can only ask the authorities to "expeditiously consider the case of an individual".

Mehbooba Mufti was placed under detention along with hundreds of political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, when the Centre scrapped the state's special status granted by the Constitution and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

She was released in October last year.

Currently, she is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case.

The leader of the People's Democratic Party or PDP has alleged that she is being targeted over her dissenting views and the government is misusing agencies like the National Investigation Agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.

After being questioned by the ED for five hours last week, Ms Mufti alleged that anyone opposing the current government was "hounded by trumped up charges" like sedition or money laundering.

"Dissent has been criminalised in this country. ED, CBI and NIA are being misused to silence the opposition tactically," she said.