Education News

LHC declares blacklisting of passports illegal

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday struck down para 51 of the Passport and Visa Manual 2006, allowing authorities to blacklist the passport of a person, after declaring it as ultra vires.

The court passed the orders on petitions filed by Sheikh Shan Elahi and Anwar Shah challenging the step of blacklisting their passports by relevant authorities under para 51 of the manual.

In a written judgement, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh noted that the manual had been prepared to carry out the objectives of the Passports Act, which is the governing law. ”

However, Section 8 of the Passports Act talks only about cancellation, impounding and confiscation of passports. It does not say anything about blacklisting which is a category apart. The Passports Rules, 1974, are equally silent on the issue. Para 51 goes beyond the legislative policy of the Passports Act and is, therefore, ultra vires,” the judgement added.

The court further held that the government is bound to issue a show-cause notice to its citizen two weeks prior to the cancellation of his or her passport. “The federal government can cancel the passport of only that person without notice who has worked against the national interests.

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