The Act consists of 27 Sections. The main aim of the Act is “to provide for the issue of passports and travel documents, to regulate the departure from India of citizens of India and for other persons and for matters incidental or ancillary thereto.” The Act applies to whole of India and to the citizens of India who are living outside the Country. Under Section 3, a person whoever makes an attempt to depart from India must hold a valid passport or travel document. As per Section 2 of this Act, Passport means a passport issued or deemed to have been issued under this Act; and 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 into India) Act, 1920 and travel document includes a document which been issued by the Government of a foreign country.
Types of passports and travel documents
There are certain classes of passports and travel documents as provided under Section 4 and it says that the classes of passports which may be issued under this Act are- ordinary, official and diplomatic passport and types of travel documents which may be issued are- emergency certificate authorizing a person to enter India, Certificate of identity for the purpose of establishing the identity of person and other as may be prescribed.
Procedure for obtaining a passport
- Online Registration can be done here.
- Documents required for persons who were born in India after 26/01/1989 and are eligible for Non-ECR Category are:
- Proof of Present Address
- Proof of Date of Birth
- Documentary proof for any one of the Non-ECR categories
- Citizen Certificate issued by Ministry of Home Affairs
The list of documents required for other categories can be checked here.
Fees is non-refundable.
*applicable to minors between 15 to 18 years of age who wish to get a 10-year full validity passport.
||Fresh Passport/Re-issue of Passport including additional booklet due to exhaustion of visa pages (36 pages) of 10 years validity.
||Fresh Passport/Re-issue of Passport including additional booklet due to exhaustion of visa pages (60 pages) of 10 years validity.
||Fresh Passport/Re-issue of Passport for Minors (below 18 years of age), of 5 years validity or till the minor attains the age of 18 whichever is earlier (36 pages)
||Replacement of Passport (36 pages) in lieu of a lost, damaged or stolen passport
||Replacement of Passport (60 pages) in lieu of a lost, damaged or stolen passport
||Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
||deletion of ECR / Change in personal particulars (10 year validity)
||Replacement of Passport (60 pages) for deletion of ECR / Change in personal particulars (10 year validity)
||Replacement of Passport (36 pages) for deletion of ECR/ Change in personal particulars for Minors (below 18 years of age), of 5 years validity or till the minor attains the age of 18 whichever is earlier.
Right to Travel Abroad is a Fundamental Right
In the case, Satwant Singh Sawhney v. D. Ramarathnam, Assistant Passport Officer, New Delhi, (SC), 1967 AIR (SC) 1836 it was observed by the Supreme Court that “the compendious expression in personal liberty used in Article 21 included in its ambit the right to go abroad and a person could not be deprived of that right except according to procedure established by law as laid down in Article 21”.
Also in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (SC), 1978 AIR (SC) 597, Supreme Court ruled by majority that the expression ‘personal liberty’ which occurs in Article 21 of the Constitution includes the right to travel abroad and that no person can be deprived of that right except according to procedure established by law.
The Passports Act which was enacted by Parliament in 1967 in order to comply with that decision prescribes the procedure whereby an application for a passport may be granted fully or partially, with or without any endorsement, and a passport once granted may later be revoked or impounded. But the mere prescription of some kind of procedure cannot ever meet the mandate of Article 21. The procedure prescribed by law has to be fair, just and reasonable, not fanciful, oppressive or arbitrary.
The question whether the procedure prescribed by a law which curtails or takes away the personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 is reasonable or not has to be considered not in the abstract or on hypothetical considerations like the provision for a full-dress hearing as in a Court-room trial, but in the context, primarily, of the purpose which the Act is intended to achieve and of urgent situations which those who are charged with the duty of administering the Act may be called upon to deal with.
Secondly, even the fullest compliance with the requirements of Article 21 is not the journey’s end because, a law which prescribes fair and reasonable procedure for curtailing or taking away the personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 has still to meet a possible challenge under other provisions of the Constitution like, for example, Article 14 and 19.
To sum up, personal liberty makes for the worth of the human person. Travel makes liberty worthwhile. Life is a terrestrial opportunity for unfolding personality, rising to higher states, moving to fresh woods and reaching out to reality which makes our earthly journey a true fulfilment – not a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing, but a fine frenzy rolling between heaven and earth. The spirit of Man is at the root of Article 21, absent, liberty, other freedoms are frozen……. Freedom of movement of the individual within or in leaving his own country, in travelling to other countries and in entering his own country is a vital human liberty.
Impounding of Passport
Under Section 10, the passport authority may impound or cause to be impounded or revoke a passport or travel document:
- If the passport authority is satisfied that the holder of the passport or travel document is in wrongful possession thereof;
- If the passport or travel document was obtained by the suppression of material information or on the basis of wrong information provided by the holder of the passport or travel document or any other person on his behalf;
- If the passport authority deems it necessary to do so in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of India, friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public;
- If the holder of the passport or travel document has, at any time after the issue of the passport or travel document, been convicted by a court in India for any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for not less than two years;
- If proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the holder of the passport or travel document are pending before a criminal court in India;
- If any of the conditions of the passport or travel documents is contravened;
- If it is brought to the notice of the passport authority that a warrant or summons for the appearance, or a warrant for the arrest, of the holder of the passport or travel document has been issued by a court under any law for the time being in force or if an order prohibiting the departure from India of the holder of the passport or other travel document has been made by any such court and the passport authority is satisfied that a warrant or summons has been so issued or an order has been so made;
- A court convicting the holder of a passport or travel document of any offence under this Act or the rules made thereunder may also revoke the passport or travel document.
The question that arises now is: can a passport be impounded by Police by exercising power under section 102 read with section 165 and 104 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973? The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Suresh Nanda v. CBI (2008) 3 SCC 674 has answered this question in negative and observed that while the police may have the power to seize a passport under Section 102(1) Criminal Procedure Code 1973, it does not have the power to impound the same. Impounding of a passport can only be done by the passport authority under Section 10(3) of the Passports Act, 1967.
Restrictions on granting passport
Under section 6, the passport authority or central shall refuse to issue passport on any one or more of the following grounds and no other ground:
- That the applicant may, or is likely to, engage in such country in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India;
- That the presence of the applicant in such country may, or is likely to, be detrimental to the security of India;
- That the presence of the applicant in such country may, or is likely to, prejudice the friendly relations of India with that or any other country;
- That in the opinion of the Central Government the presence of the applicant in such country is not in the public interest;
- That the applicant is not a citizen of India;
- That the applicant has, at any time during the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his application, been convicted by a court in India for any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for not less than two years;
- That proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the applicant are pending before a criminal court in India;
- That a warrant or summons for the appearance, or a warrant for the arrest, of the applicant has been issued by a court under any law for the time being in force or that an order prohibiting the departure from India of the applicant has been made by any such court;
- That the applicant has been repatriated and has not reimbursed the expenditure incurred in connection with such repatriation.
In case, your passport has been refused on any other ground or in an arbitrary or unfair manner then a writ for the issuance of the same can be filed.