Wednesday, May 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Issue travel papers to Chohan: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Nearly 20 years after the passport of the “self-styled president of Khalistan”, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, was revoked, Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Union of India and other respondents to issue travel documents to the petitioner for enabling him to return to India.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr Justice Jhanji directed the issuance of documents through the Indian High Commission in the UK within a month from today.

Mr Justice Jhanji further directed: “On the petitioner’s return to India, the Central Government shall hold an inquiry for determining whether the petitioner had voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country. In case it is found that the petitioner has ceased to be a citizen of India, having acquired the citizenship of another country, he shall be deported to the country of which he has acquired the citizenship”.

In his detailed order, Mr Justice Jhanji observed: “As regard to the contention that intelligence agencies had not favoured the grant of travel documents to the petitioner in view of his known stand in favour of Khalistan, it is only to be stated that the return to one’s own country is the Fundamental Right conferred on a citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”.

The Judge concluded: “The right cannot be taken away simply because the intelligence agencies have not favoured the issuance of passport to a citizen.... the writ petition is allowed. The respondents are directed to issue travel documents to the petitioner within a month from today.”

In his petition, Dr Chohan, currently residing in London, had earlier stated that his passport was revoked by the respondents on April 24, 1981, without issuing a show-cause notice or granting him an opportunity of hearing.

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