MUMBAI: Observing that the fundamental right to personal liberty includes within its ambit the right to go abroad and consequently no person can be deprived of it, except according to the procedure prescribed by law, a special NDPS court directed the
Narcotics Control Bureau
(NCB) to return actor
‘s passport, three years after it was seized after he was named an accused in the drugs case probed following the death of actor
Sushant Singh Rajput
“In the present matter, from the appreciation of material on record, it appears that the respondent (NCB) has not followed the procedure according to the law for retention of the passport,” Special Judge K P Kshirsagar said.
The court has allowed Showik’s plea moved by advocate Zehra Charania to travel to Australia from September 17 to 24.
The judge said impounding means retention of the possession of a document which has been seized for some period of time. “The passport cannot be impounded, except by the passport authority in accordance with law. Moreover, admittedly in the present matter, retention of the passport by the respondent has not been done in conformity with the provisions of law, that is, as per provisions of
Passport Authorities Act
,” the judge said.
The judge said Showik appears to be a resident of Mumbai and have roots in society. “Therefore, from the appreciation of material on record, there appears no substance in the contention of the respondent (NCB) that applicant (Showik) may flee or abscond from justice if the passport is returned,” the judge said.
Stating that interests of the NCB can be safeguarded by imposing certain conditions, the judge further said Showik is to submit his address in Australia.
“The…accused shall again surrender his passport to the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai Zonal Unit, after returning to India,” the judge said.
Showik and his parents, have also moved the Bombay HC for suspension of the look out circular against them. His parents said the investigations were complete.