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PASSPORTS ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 15 of 1967


  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 15 of 1967

Preamble

THE PASSPORTS ACT, 1967

[Act, No. 15 of 1967]

[24th June, 1967]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the issue of passports and travel documents, to regulate the departure from India of citizens of India and other persons and for matters incidental or ancillary thereto.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Eighteenth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Section 1. Short title and extent

(1) This Act may be called the Passports Act, 1967.

(2) It extends to the whole of India and applies also to citizens of India who are outside India.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "departure", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means departure from India by water, land or air;

(b) "passport" means a passport issued or deemed to have been issued under this Act;

(c) "passport authority" means an officer or authority empowered under rules made under this Act to issue passports or travel documents and includes the Central Government;

(d) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(e) "travel document" means a travel document issued or deemed to have been issued under this Act.

Section 3. Passport or travel document for departure from India

No person shall depart from, or attempt to depart from India, unless he holds in this behalf a valid passport or travel document.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this section,--

(a) "passport" includes a passport which having been issued by or under the authority of the Government of a foreign country satisfies the conditions prescribed under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 (34 of 1920), in respect of the class of passports to which it belongs;

(b) "travel document" includes a travel document which having been issued by or under the authority of the Government of a foreign country satisfies the conditions prescribed.

Section 4. Classes of passports and travel documents

(1) The following classes of passports may be issued under this Act, namely:--

(a) ordinary passport;

(b) official passport;

(c) diplomatic passport.

(2) The following classes of travel documents may be issued under this Act, namely:--

(a) emergency certificate authorising a person to enter India;

(b) certificate of identity for the purpose of establishing the identity of a person;

(c) such other certificate or document as may be prescribed.

(3) The Central Government shall, in consonance with the usage and practice followed by it in this behalf, prescribe the classes of persons to whom the classes of passports and travel documents referred to respectively in sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) may be issued under this Act.

Section 5. Applications for passports, travel documents, etc., and orders thereon

1[(1) An application for the issue of a passport under this Act for visiting such foreign country or countries (not being a named foreign country) as may be specified in the application may be made to the passport authority and shall be accompanied by2[such fee as may be prescribed to meet the expenses incurred on special security paper, printing, lamination and other connected miscellaneous services in issuing passports and other travel documents].

Explanation.--In this section, "named foreign country" means such foreign country as the Central Government may, by rules made under this Act, specify in this behalf.

(1A) An application for the issue of--

(i) a passport under this Act for visiting a named foreign country; or

(ii) a travel document under this Act, for visiting such foreign country or countries (including a named foreign country) as may be specified in the application or for an endorsement on the passport or travel document referred to in this section,

may be made to the passport authority and shall be accompanied by such fee (if any) not exceeding rupees fifty, as may be prescribed.

(IB) Every application under this section shall be in such form and contain such particulars as may be prescribed.]

(2) On receipt of an application3[under this section], the passport authority, after making such inquiry, if any, as it may consider necessary, shall, subject to the other provisions of this Act, by order in writing,--

(a) issue the passport or travel document with endorsement, or, as the case may be, make on the passport or travel document the endorsement, in respect of the foreign country or countries specified in the application; or

(b) issue the passport or travel document with endorsement, or, as the case may be, make on the passport or travel document the endorsement, in respect of one or more of the foreign countries specified in the application and refuse to make an endorsement in respect of the other country or countries; or

(c) refuse to issue the passport or travel document or, as the case may be, refuse to make on the passport or travel document any endorsement.

(3) Where the passport authority makes an order under clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section (2) on the application of any person, it shall record in writing a brief statement of its reasons for making such order and furnish to that person on demand a copy of the same unless in any case the passport authority is of the opinion that it will not be in the interests 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 to furnish such copy.

1. Substituted by Act 31 of 1978, section 2, for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 18-8-1978).

2. Substituted by Act 35 of 1993, section 2, for "a fee of rupees fifty" (w.e.f. 1-7-1993).

3. Inserted by Act 31 of 1978, section 2 (w.e.f. 18-8-1978).


Section 6. Refusal of passports, travel documents. etc.

(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the passport authority shall refuse to make as endorsement for visiting any country under clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 5 on any one or more of the following grounds, and on no other ground, namely.--

(a) that the applicant may, or is likely to, engage in such country activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India;

(b) that the presence of the applicant in such country may, or is likely t be detrimental to the security of India;

(c) 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;

(d) that in the opinion of the Central Government the presence of the applicant in such country is not in the public interest.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the passport authority shall refuse to issue a passport or travel document for visiting any foreign country under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 5 on any one or more of the following grounds, and on no other ground, namely:--

(a) that the applicant is not a citizen of India;

(b) that the applicant may, or is likely to, engage outside India in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India;

(c) that the departure of the applicant from India may, or is likely to, be detrimental to the security of India;

(d) that the presence of the applicant outside India may, or is likely to, prejudice the friendly relations of India with any foreign country;

(e) 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;

(f) that proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the applicant are pending before a criminal court in India;

(g) 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;

(h) that the applicant has been repatriated and has not reimbursed the expenditure incurred in connection with such repatriation;

(i) that in the opinion of the Central Government the issue of a passport or travel document to the applicant will not be in the public interest.

Section 7. Duration of passports and travel documents

A passport or travel document shall, unless revoked earlier, continue in force for such period as may be prescribed and different periods may be prescribed for different classes of passports or travel documents or for different categories of passports or travel documents under each such class:

Provided that a passport or travel document may be issued for a shorter period than the prescribed period--

(a) if the person by whom it is required so desires; or

(b) if the passport authority, for reasons to be communicated in writing to the applicant, considers in any case that the passport or travel document should be issued for a shorter period.

Section 8. Extension of period of passport

1Where a passport is issued for a shorter period than the prescribed period under section 7, such shorter period shall, unless the passport authority for reasons to be recorded in writing otherwise determines, be extendable for a further period (which together with the shorter period shall not exceed the prescribed period) and the provisions of this Act shall apply to such extension as they apply to the issue thereof.]

1. Substituted by Act 31 of 1993, section 3, for section 8 (w.e.f. 1-7-1993).


Section 9. Conditions and forms of passports and travel documents

The conditions subject to which, and the form in which, a passport or travel document shall be issued or renewed shall be such as may be prescribed:

Provided that different conditions and different forms may be prescribed for different classes of passports or travel documents or for different categories of passports or travel documents under each such class:

Provided further that a passport or travel document may contain in addition to the prescribed conditions such other conditions as the passport authority may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, impose in any particular case.

Section 10. Variation, impounding and revocation of passports and travel documents

(1) The passport authority may, having regard to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 6 or any notification under section 19, vary or cancel the endorsements on a passport or travel document or may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, vary or cancel the conditions (other than the prescribed conditions) subject to which a passport or travel document has been issued and may, for that purpose, require the holder of a passport or a travel document, by notice in writing, to deliver up the passport or travel document to it within such time as may be specified in the notice and the holder shall comply with such notice.

(2) The passport authority may, on the application of the holder of a passport or a travel document, and with the previous approval of the Central Government also vary or cancel the conditions (other than the prescribed conditions) of the passport or travel document.

(3) The passport authority may impound or cause to be impounded or revoke a passport or travel document,--

(a) if the passport authority is satisfied that the holder of the passport or travel document is in wrongful possession thereof;

(b) 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:

1 [Provided that if the holder of such passport obtains another passport, the passport authority shall also impound or cause to be impounded or revoke such other passport.]

(c) if the passport authority deems it necessary so to do in the interests 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;

(d) 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;

(e) 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;

(f) if any of the conditions of the passport or travel document has been contravened;

(g) if the holder of the passport or travel document has failed to comply with a notice under sub-section (1) requiring him to deliver up the same;

(h) 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.

(4) The passport authority may also revoke a passport or travel document on the application of the holder thereof.

(5) Where the passport authority makes an order varying or cancelling the endorsements on, or varying the conditions of, a passport or travel document under sub-section (1) or an order impounding or revoking a passport or travel document under sub-section (3), it shall record in writing a brief statement of the reasons for making such order and furnish to the holder of the passport or travel document on demand a copy of the same unless in any case the passport authority is of the opinion that it will not be in the interests 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 to furnish such a copy.

(6) The authority to whom the passport authority is subordinate may, by order in writing, impound or cause to be impounded or revoke a passport or travel document on any ground on which it may be impounded or revoked by the passport authority and the foregoing provisions of this section shall, as far as may be, apply in relation to the impounding or revocation of a passport or travel document by such authority.

(7) 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:

Provided that if the conviction is set aside on appeal or otherwise the revocation shall become void.

(8) An order of revocation under sub-section (7) may also be made by an appellate court or by the High Court when exercising its powers of revision.

(9) On the revocation of a passport or travel document under this section the holder thereof shall, without delay, surrender the passport or travel document, if the same has not already been impounded, to the authority by whom it has been revoked or to such other authority as may be specified in this behalf in the order of revocation.

1.Inserted by Act 31 of 1993, section 4 (w.e.f. 1-7-1993).


Section 10A. Suspension of passports or travel documents in certain cases

1[10A. Suspension of passports or travel documents in certain cases

(1) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in section 10, if the Central Government or any designated officer is satisfied that the passport or travel document is likely to be impounded or caused to be impounded or revoked under clause (c) of sub-section (3) of section 10 and it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it or he may,--

(a) by order, suspend, with immediate effect, any passport or travel document;

(b) pass such other appropriate order which may have the effect of rendering any passport or travel document invalid,

for a period not exceeding four weeks:

Provided that the Central Government or the designated officer may, if it or he considers appropriate, extend, by order and for reasons to be recorded in writing, the said period of four weeks till the proceedings relating to variation, impounding or revocation of passport or travel document under section 10 are concluded:

Provided further that every holder of the passport or travel document, in respect of whom an order under clause (a) or clause (b) of this sub-section had been passed, shall be given an opportunity of being heard within a period of not later than eight weeks reckoned from the date of passing of such order and thereupon the Central Government may, if necessary, by order in writing, modify or revoke the order passed under this sub-section.

(2) The designated officer shall immediately communicate the orders passed under sub-section (1), to the concerned authority at an airport or any other point of embarkation or immigration, and to the passport authority.

(3) Every authority referred to in sub-section (2) shall, immediately on receipt of the order passed under sub-section (1), give effect to such order.]

1. Inserted by The Passport (Amendment) Act 2002 w.e.f. 23-10-2001.


Section 10B. Validation of intimations

Every intimation given by the Central Government or the designated officer, before the commencement of the Passports (Amendment) Act, 2002, to any immigration authority at an airport or any other point of embarkation or immigration, restricting or in any manner prohibiting the departure from India of any holder of the passport or travel document under sub-section (3) of section 10, shall be deemed to be an order under sub-section (1) of section 10A and such order shall continue to be in force for a period of three months from the date of commencement of the Passports (Amendment) Act, 2002, or the date of giving such intimation, whichever is later.

Explanation.--For the purposes of sections 10A and 10B, the expression "designated officer" means such officer or authority designated, by order in writing, as such by the Central Government.]

Section 11. Appeals

(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the passport authority under clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 5 or clause (b) of the proviso to section 7 or sub-section (1), or sub-section (3) of section 10 or by an order under sub-section (6) of section 10 of the authority to whom the passport authority is subordinate, may prefer an appeal against that order to such authority (hereinafter referred to as the appellate authority) and within such period as may be prescribed:

Provided that no appeal shall lie against any order made by the Central Government.

(2) No appeal shall be admitted if it is preferred after the expiry of the period prescribed therefore:

Provided that an appeal may be admitted after the expiry of the period prescribed therefore if the appellant satisfies the appellate authority that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within that period.

(3) The period prescribed for an appeal shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963 (36 of 1963), with respect to the computation of the periods of limitation thereunder.

(4) Every appeal under this section shall be made by a petition in writing and shall be accompanied by a copy of the statement of the reasons for the order appealed against where such copy has been furnished to the appellant and1[by such fee as may be prescribed for meeting the expenses that may be incurred in calling for relevant records and for connected services].

(5) In disposing of an appeal, the appellate authority shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed:

Provided that no appeal shall be disposed of unless the appellant has been given a reasonable opportunity of representing his case.

(6) Every order of the appellate authority confirming, modifying or reversing the order appealed against shall be final.

1. Substituted by Act 31 of 1993, section 5, for "by such fee (if any) not exceeding rupees twenty-five as may be prescribed" (w.e.f. 1-7-1993).


Section 12. Offences and penalties

(1) Whoever--

(a) contravenes the provisions of section 3; or

(b) knowingly furnishes any false information or suppresses any material information with a view to obtaining a passport or travel document under this Act or without lawful authority alters or attempts to alter or causes to alter the entries made in a passport or travel document; or

(c) fails to produce for inspection his passport or travel document (whether issued under this Act or not) when called upon to do so by the prescribed authority; or

(d) knowingly uses a passport or travel document issued to another person; or

(e) knowingly allows another person to use a passport or travel document issued to him;

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to1 [two years or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees] or with both.

2 [(1A) Whoever, not being a citizen of India,--

(a) makes an application for a passport or obtains a passport by suppressing information about his nationality, or

(b) holds a forged passport or any travel document,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.]

(2) Whoever abets any offence punishable under3 [sub-section (1) or subsection (1A)] shall, if the act abetted is committed in consequence of the abetment, be punishable with the punishment provided in that sub-section for that offence.

(3) Whoever contravenes any condition of a passport or travel document or any provision of this Act or any rule made thereunder for which no punishment is provided elsewhere in this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or with both.

(4) Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under this Act, is again convicted of an offence under this Act shall be punishable with double the penalty provided for the latter offence.

1.Substituted by Act 31 of 1993, section 6 for "six months or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees"(w.e.f. 1-7-1993).

2.Inserted by Act 31 of 1993, section 6 (w.e.f. 1-7-1993).

3.Substituted by Act 31 of 1993, section 6, for "sub-section (1)" (w.e.f. 1-7-1993).