New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday
directed the passport authorities to determine whether the
passport of Arms dealer Suresh Nanda, father of BMW
hit-and-run case convict Sanjeev Nanda, should remain
Asking the Appellate Authority, the Special Secretary
(AD and Consular, passport and Visa) to take a decision within
three weeks, Justice S Muralidhar directed Nanda to appear in
person or through his counsel before the Appellate Authority
on March 10.
The Court also directed CBI and the government to
be represented by their counsel before the Authority on the
Nanda was given liberty to file his grievance before
the Delhi high court in case he is aggrieved by the decision
of the Authority.
The court was hearing Nanda`s petition in which he
sought a direction to the Centre and the concerned passport
authority to release his passport seized by the CBI three
years ago in connection with his alleged involvement in
receiving a kickback in the Rs 1,150 crore for procurement of
Barak missile deal.
Nanda, son of formal late Navy Chief S M Nanda,
alleged government was harassing him by not releasing the
passport which had been in its custody for more than three
years and his business abroad was suffering.
His passport was seized in 2006 by CBI which is
investigating the Barak missile deal. He was later allowed by
a trial court to go abroad but restrained by Delhi High Court.
The arms dealer had then approached the Supreme Court
which had on January 24, 2008, held the seizure of passport by
the investigating agency as illegal and the law also did not
authorise it to take such an action and CBI was directed to
return the travel document.
"It appears that the passport cannot be impounded
except by passport authority. Retaining passport by CBI is not
in accordance with law as there is no order from passport
authority,`` the apex court had said.
The CBI then released his passport but it was soon
seized by the passport authority which has been holding his
travel document since February, 2008.
Following a sting operation by Tehlka, in its FIR over
the controversial Barak missile deal, CBI has named former
Defence Minister George Fernandes and some public servants as
accused of kickbacks.