The Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, has issued a show-cause notice to Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar as to why her passport should not be impounded for failing to disclose information regarding pendency of cases against her.
The RPO Mumbai has noted that nine criminal cases have been registered against her -- three are in Barwani, one in Alirajpur and five in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh -- and are still pending adjudication.
"While obtaining passport bearing no...dated March 30, 2017 you have not disclosed the fact regarding pendency of above cases and obtained passport by suppression of material information.
"In view of the same it is proposed to impound your passport bearing and any other passport if issued subsequently under section 10(3)(e) of the Passports Act 1967. You are requested to state why action should not be taken under section 12(1) of the Passports Act 1967," the notice issued by the passport office on October 18 said.
The passport officials have sought her explanation within 10 days from the date of this communication failing which action would be taken.
A complaint was filed against the activist in June this year by a journalist stating that Patkar had obtained her passport by concealing and suppressing material facts from the RPO Mumbai.
According to the sources, Patkar has till date not submitted any reply despite the lapse of more than 30 days.
Patkar had earlier contested Mumbai North-East Parliament seat in 2014 on the AAP ticket but lost the election.
Section 10(3) of the passport act states that "the passport authority may impound or cause to be impounded or revoke a passport or travel document Section(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".
Section 12 of the act states whoever "knowingly furnishes any false information or suppresses any material information with a view to obtaining a passport or travel document shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 or with both."