Monica Bedi moves HC over re-issuance of passport

Monica Bedi has approached Bombay HC seeking directions to RTO to take a decision on her application for re-issuance of her passport.

Mumbai: Gangster Abu Salem`s former companion and actress Monica Bedi has approached the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Regional Passport Office (RTO) to take a decision on her application for reissuance of her passport.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and K S Shriram issued notice to the passport office and Union government directing them to respond to the petition within two weeks.

Bedi and Salem were arrested in Portugal and extradited to India in 2005. The same year she was held guilty for submitting forged documents for procuring passport and sentenced to five years in jail.

In 2007, she was released on bail pending appeal. In 2010, the Supreme Court while upholding her conviction reduced the sentence to the period spent by her in prison.

"Bedi filed an application for reissuance of her passport on September 3, 2012. Her form was accepted and she was given an acknowledgement slip. However, till date there has been no communication. Also, no order has been passed rejecting her application," Bedi`s lawyer Niteen Pradhan said.

He added that as per rules, a person`s passport application cannot be granted if he or she has been convicted five years prior to the filing of the passport application.

Bedi`s petition states that she wants to go abroad for shooting and her career is getting affected due to non-availability of passport.