The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Bureau of Immigration and the Central Passport Organisation’s response on a senior citizen’s plea claiming that for the past 11 years whenever he travels abroad he is subjected to harassment and interrogation at the airport due to a Look-Out Circular (LOC) against his namesake.
Each time after the interrogation, the authorities are satisfied he is not the one against whom the LOC has been issued, but he is subjected to the same harassment every time he travels abroad, he said.
Justice Navin Chawla, while issuing notice to the Bureau of Immigration and the Central Passport Organization seeking their response, also asked them to see how the issue can be resolved and listed the matter for hearing on October 20.
The high court was hearing the plea of Ashok Agarwal, represented by advocate Pranjal Kishore, who has sought rectification or removal of any adverse remarks on his passport so that he is not stopped and questioned each time he travels abroad.
In his plea, he has contended that he has not faced any legal proceedings in the country, but since 2009 whenever he travels abroad, he is interrogated at the airport.
“After every such interrogation, the immigration authorities conclude that they mistakenly identified the petitioner (Ashok Agarwal) as the person against whom the said LOC had been issued,” the petition has said.
It has also claimed that through separate emails, dated August 31, 2017 and March 14, 2018, the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers of Mumbai and New Delhi assured him that corrective steps have been taken to ensure that he is not interrogated during international travel.
“However, despite the assurances, the interrogation and the harassment of the petitioner has continued,” the petition has contended.
Apart from rectification of any adverse remarks on his passport, Mr Agarwal has also sought quashing of any LOC issued against him and damages “for the years of undue harassment” undergone by him.
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