The Madras high court has set aside the order of the Regional Passport Office, Madurai, refusing to renew the passport granted to an adopted child as the parents who adopted her had separated, on holding that it’s enough that the Passport Officer confines to scrutinizing the records available before him and not enquire into the welfare of the child.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh before whom the plea moved by the child seeking re-issuance of passport as applied by her father came up, said “No one has complained till now that the parents are acting against the welfare of the child. The order passed by the competent Court at Jalandhar was of the year 2015 and safeguards that have been provided by the Court was only for the initial period when the Court wanted to ensure that the child is properly taken care of.” “It is not necessary that for every development that takes place in the future, the parents will have to knock the doors of the Court. Even otherwise, the Regional Passport officer need not have taken pains to enquire into the issue of welfare of the child and it was enough if the officer had confined to scrutinizing the records available before him,” the court held.
The court also pointed out that in the absence of a separate column in the application to declare whether the child is a natural child or an adopted child, it cannot be said that the parents of the petitioner had suppressed that she was an adopted child when the earlier application was made for issuance of the passport in the petitioner’s name.
Based on this, Justice Anand Venkatesh on quashing the order of passport officer issued on March 29, 2021, rejecting the application for renewal, directed the Regional Passport Officer, Madurai, to consider the application submitted by the father of the petitioner on 29.03.2021 and re-issue the passport in the name of the petitioner, if it is otherwise in order, within four weeks.
The girl is taken care by her father who is now the natural guardian and he is in the custody of the child. Since the period of the passport issued to the petitioner was expiring, an application was made seeking for re-issuance of the passport, resulting in its rejection citing the parent’s separation.