The Andhra Pradesh High Court, passed an order on 23rd March, 2022 by subject to the condition of the petitioner executing a self-bond for a sum of Rs.2 lakhs only and to produce for equal amount FDR in the name of the petitioner with provision for encashment by court. This was seen in the case of Ravi Ramesh Babu vs. The State of Andhra Pradesh (CRIMINAL PETITION No.96 of 2022) & the case was presided over by the The Honourable Sri Justice D. Ramesh.
FACTS OF THE CASE
This criminal petition is filed under Section 482 of the CrPC, 1973 seeking to quash the order of the Court of the Principal Sessions Judge, Nellore & to return the passport of the petitioner to travel to USA after its renewal. Heard learned counsel for the petitioner & the Assistant Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent.
Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that by virtue of the order, passed by the Court, passport of the petitioner was temporarily returned on 25th July 2019 & he resubmitted the same on 18th October 2019 before the court. Thus, the petitioner honestly obeyed the conditions imposed by this Court & did not misapply the liberty afforded by the court allowing the petitioner to travel abroad. He additionally submits that passport of the petitioner is due for renewal & the petitioner intends to visit his daughter after her delivery, who is residing in USA, therefore, sought for temporary return of the passport for a period of 6 months.
Learned counsel afterwards relied on the decision passed by this Court in Crl.P.No.1954 of 2020, following the ratio laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of “Suresh Nand V. CBI“, in which the Apex Court observed that seize of a passport can’t be done by the Court U/S104 Cr.P.C. though it can seize any other document or thing. Accordingly, this court held that neither the Police nor the Courts have power to seize the passport or to direct the accused to layer or surrender the passport even when a criminal case is pending in the court of law & only the Passport Officer is the authorized authority to impound the passport.
Considering the submissions made by the learned counsel for the petitioner & in the light of the law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court cited supra, this Criminal Petition is allowed setting aside the order dated 17th September 2021 in C.F.No.989 dated 23rd August 2021 in C.C.No.04 of 2017 on the file of the Court of the Principal Sessions Judge, Nellore and the passport of the petitioner shall be returned for a period of 6 months from today i.e., 23rd September 2022 to 22nd September 2022, subject to the condition of the petitioner executing a self-bond for a sum of Rs.2 lakhs only and to produce for equal amount FDR in the name of the petitioner with provision for encashment by court. As a sequel, the miscellaneous applications pending, if any, shall stand closed. Issue C.C. within two (02) days.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY YAKSHU JINDAL.