People sometimes comment that the police have seized their passport because a criminal case has been filed, but it is important to see what the law says.

  In a judgment handed down by the Banglore High Court, it is decided as follows.

  'The police have no right to confiscate the passports of the accused in any criminal case.  The police only have the right to confiscate property.  Only the passport department has the right to confiscate passports,” the Karnataka High Court said on Monday in delivering a major verdict.

  The HC delivered the verdict on a case in which a person charged with a criminal offense had gone to court to challenge the authority of the police to seize her passport.

  The high court held that if the police have taken a defendant's passport as a security measure, they have no right to keep it with them.  Instead, they should inform the passport department about it and cite the reasons for doing so because only the passport department has the right to the passport issued by it.

  'Once the police inform the department and send the passport to them, the department must decide whether to keep the passport in its custody or not.  But in case you feel that you should keep the passport, it is necessary to listen to the arguments of the passport holder.  Only after that, the department can issue an order in this regard.  '- said the high court in its verdict.  The court in its verdict mentioned the earlier case of Suresh Nanda and the CBI.

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