RTI:Ex-wife Passport Details

Central Information Commission

CIC/AD/A/09/00463
Dated May 4, 2009
Name of the Applicant:Mr.Nirav A Tarkas
Name of the Public Authority:CPV Divn., MEA
Background
1. The Applicant filed an RTI application dt.22.3.08 with the CPIO, CPV Divn., MEA. He requested for the following information:
i) New Passport No., the place of issue of passport of his ex-wife Mrs.Bhairavi Nirav Tarkas (Old Passport No.322938 was issued by High Commission of India at Lagos on 27.2.92)
ii) Certified copy of new passport issued to (i) above
iii) New Passport No., the place of issue of passport of his daughter Ms.Tillana Nirav Tarkas (minor) (Old Passport No.K.442649 was issued by High Commission of India at Lagos on 13.5.93)
iv) Certified copy of new passport issued to (iii) above
v) Certified copy of Police Clearance Certificate given for issuance of new Current Passport for (i) above
The CPIO replied on 16.4.08 denying the information u/s 8(1)(j) as it belongs to a third party. Not satisfied with the reply, the Applicant filed an appeal dt.9.6.08. He stated in his appeal that he is an affected person, being the father of Ms. Tillana Tarkas, who is a minor under the India laws. He wanted to prefer a petition before the court in Britain for custody of the child and therefore required the information. He stated that he is entitled to her custody, being the natural guardian under all the three British, Indian and Nigerian laws. His daughter Tillana was born in Nigeria and the laws of Nigeria also stipulate the father to be the natural guardian. He further added that his daughter traveled to Britain on an Indian passport with his name i.e. Tillana Nirav Tarkas and not under her mother’s name. With regard to the case of his ex-wife, he stated that he is an affected person since his property and assets were swindled by her. He argued that as per the Section 17 of the Passport Act, 1967 the passport belongs to the Govt. of India and therefore is in the public domain and accordingly he has right to get the information. The
Appellate Authority replied on 17.6.08 upholding the decision of the CPIO. Aggrieved with this reply, the Applicant filed a second appeal dt.13.3.09 before the CIC. He stated that the Passport is a public document and is a property of the Union of India and that he requires the information in the interest of justice and denial of information may cause denial of his fundamental rights under the Constitution to protect the life and liberty of his daughter in a foreign land. According to him, the Ministry of External Affairs is a regulatory authority under the state for the issuance and regulation of Passport activity in India and is in possession of all the information sought by him.
2. The Bench of Mrs. Annapurna Dixit, Information Commissioner, scheduled the hearing for May 4, 2009.
3. Mr. Suresh Kumar Menon, Under Secretary and Mr. P. Roychoudhari, Advocate represented the Public Authority.
4. The Applicant was present during the hearing.
Decision
5. After hearing the submission put forth by the Applicant, the Commission is of the opinion that the minor daughter of the Appellant has a right to be cared for by both parents and has the right to be protected by both and also since the Passport is a public document as per the Passport Act 1967 , directs the CPIO to provide all the information sought by the Appellant within 15 days of the date of issue of this Order.
6. The appeal is disposed off.
(Annapurna Dixit)
Information Commissioner
Authenticated true copy:
(G.Subramanian)
Asst. Registrar
Cc:
1. Mr.Nirav Anupam Tarkas
#209 B N Chambers
R C Dutt Road
Opp Welcom Hotel
Vadodara 390 007
2. Mr.R.N.Kalja
The CPIO &
Under Secretary (CPV)
Ministry of External Affairs
Patiala House
New Delhi 110 001
3. Mr.A.Manickam
The Appellate Authority &
Joint Secretary (CPV)
Ministry of External Affairs
Patiala House
New Delhi 110 001
4. Officer in charge, NIC
5. Press E Group, CIC

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