HC issues contempt notices for RPO, top police official
Passport of Mushtaq Zargar’s daughter…
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued contempt notices to the Regional Passport Officer (RPO) as well as the chief of the state police’s intelligence wing for not complying with its order in connection with the case of denial of passport to the minor daughter of a militant.
Aisha Mushtaq, daughter of Pakistan-based militant Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, had applied for the passport in 2013 through her mother, but the security agencies gave an adverse report citing her father’s background.
Zargar was swapped in lieu of the passengers of the hijacked Air India flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Kabul in 1999. Two others – Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and Moulana Masood Azhar – were also exchanged by the then government.
Aisha Mushtaq moved the court which directed the concerned officials to reconsider the case “objectively, uninfluenced by the conduct or activities of the father of the petitioner”.
The court asked the police to make an appropriate report to the Passport Officer strictly in the light of the personal conduct of the girl. The court had last month directed the additional director general of police (CID) to submit a compliance report in this regard.
“When the matter came up for hearing, neither any compliance was shown with regard to the implementation of the judgment of this court, nor have the respondents challenged it, of which the contempt is alleged,” Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said in his order.
The court observed that the fresh status report suggested the additional director general of police (CID) had “got influenced” by the conduct of the mother of the petitioner and her other relatives thereby ignoring the mandate of the judgment passed on 29 December 2017.
The judge noted that the passport officer had also “not applied his mind” and had totally relied on the opinion of the police official.
“The perusal of fresh status report reveals that respondent number two (ADG, CID) has got influenced by the conduct of mother of petitioner and her other relatives, thereby ignoring the mandate of judgment dated 29 December, 2017, passed by this court.
“The respondent number three (passport officer) has also not applied independent mind to the case of the petitioner and has totally relied upon the opinion of Respondent number two (ADG),” Justice Magrey observed in his order.
He added that ‘prima facie’ both officials were found as having committed contempt of court and therefore, there is no option but to issue the rule against the duo. The case has been listed for September 5.