Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija has been issued a “country specific passport” for two years to allow her to study in the United Arab Emirates, brushing aside an adverse report by Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, officials said on Thursday.
Iltija, 35, moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in February after her application for a passport was not cleared. Her passport expired on January 2 this year and she had applied for a fresh one on June 8 last year.
The court directed the Regional Passport Office (RPO) to look into the merits of the case. Following this, Iltija, who wants to go for higher studies, has been issued a passport that is valid from April 5, 2023 to April 4, 2025, according to a letter by the RPO to the additional solicitor general.
“This passport will be valid only for UAE,” an official said. The passport has a stamp stating this.
Quoting the RPO’s letter, officials said the CID/police verification report received from the special director general of police (CID), Jammu and Kashmir, in February does not favour issuing her a passport.
The officials said Passport Officer (Srinagar) Davinder Kumar sought a detailed report from the CID on whether there was any charge sheet or FIR against Iltija. However, the department refused to share its report and reiterated its stance taken in February.
“Why is the validity of this passport only for two years and that too country specific?” Iltija asked.
“They have not done me any favour. I am thankful to the honourable court but the larger question remains about CID’s gross misconduct and abuse of power by weaponising passports,” she said.
She said the CID’s adverse report is full of “bald-faced lies”.
“They are infringing on my rights by filing adverse reports to ensure my passport is not issued,” Iltija alleged.
“To add to that, the adverse report has been classified as top secret. The only reason it is top secret is because the CID has nothing substantial against me,” Iltija said.
On March 29, the CID sought dismissal of Iltija’s writ petition. It informed the high court that her final verification report was forwarded to the department concerned in February.
“The petitioner has no ground to approach the court against the answering respondent because none of the rights, whether fundamental or legal, have been infringed by the answering respondent,” Senior Superintendent of Police, headquarters, CID, Jammu and Kashmir, had said.
In March 2021, Mehbooba and her 80-year-old mother Gulshan Nazir were refused passports, citing an “adverse report” against them.
Mehbooba’s passport expired on May 31, 2019 and she had applied for a fresh one on December 11, 2020. Her mother, wife of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, also applied for a passport in 2020 to undertake a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Mehbooba’s passport application is still pending. However, authorities issued the travel document to her mother in February on the directions of the high court.