Medha Patkar to lose passport? RPO seeks details | India News

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Regional Passport Office (RPO) has sought details from director general of police, Madhya Pradesh, on cases pending against Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar before deciding whether to impound her passport for not disclosing details while applying for the document.
The RPO on October 18 issued Patkar a showcause notice as to why her passport should not be impounded for not disclosing pendency of cases against her. In the notice, the Mumbai RPO stated that nine criminal cases registered against her — three in Barwani, one in Alirajpur and five in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh — were pending adjudication and sought an explanation in 10 days. Most of the cases pertained to rioting and obstructing government servants from carrying out their duty. In March 2017, she was reissued a passport which is valid till March 29, 2027.
The notice followed a complaint filed by journalist Sanjeev Jha in June which stated that Patkar had obtained her passport by “concealing” material facts from the RPO.
Patkar told TOI over phone, “I had sent a reply to the RPO saying that at the time of application, there was no case pending against me. After I sent the reply, they (RPO) sent another notice giving me 15 days to produce documentary evidence for the cases. I have the documents of some of the cases but not all.” She added that all the cases were filed during the NBA agitation which began in 1985. “These were not cases against me alone but against a large group of people. I don’t even remember appearing in Khandwa,” said Patkar.
“After her passport expired, we reissued her a fresh one. Subsequently, the complaints came and we issued a showcause notice,” an RPO official said. “She has replied saying most of them were FIRs and not pending in court. We have now sought information from the Madhya Pradesh DGP,’’ he said.
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