Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of Rajiv Shakdher and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., strikes down the OM dated 13-7-2021, to the extent it requires Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad.

Why was the present application filed?

  • Set aside and/or quash the notification/office memorandum dated 13-7-2021 issued by the Union of India through Ministry of External Affairs
  • Set aside the communication issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice
  • Stay the operation of the notification/office memorandum dated 13-7-2021 issued by the Union of India through the Ministry of External Affairs during the pendency of the present application.

Concern was with regard to the aspect embedded in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Office Memorandum dated 13-7-2021 requiring the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to obtain political clearance for private visits abroad.

The sum and substance of the O.M. was that it required judges of Constitutional Courts i.e., the Supreme Court and the High Court to seek political clearance qua private visits to foreign countries, infringes not only their right of privacy but also, in a sense, degrades and/or diminishes the high office that they hold.

High Court noted that on 15-2-2011, guidelines had been issued concerning foreign visits by Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

This Court by a decision dated 25-5-2012 had issued a slew of directions concerning the above-said guidelines. Though the Court did not deem it fit to pass any directions vis-à-vis the paragraph with regard to dispensing with the requirement of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to obtain political clearance for private foreign visits.

Bench opined that the O.M dated 13-7-2021, requiring the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to seek political clearance for private foreign visits is uncalled for, given the high offices they are holding, especially given the fact that nothing has changed since the 2011 guidelines were issued.

With regard to the relief sought in clause (b) was concerned, the said will have to be partially allowed as it was a communication addressed by the Government of India, Ministry of law and Justice, Department of Justice to the Secretary-General, Supreme Court of India and the Registrar Generals of High Courts requiring them to take “appropriate action” in consonance with the O.M. Since Court has struck down the O.M. to the extent it requires judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to the obtain political clearance qua foreign (private) visit, the said communication, which is, dated 18.08.2021 will get truncated to that degree.

In view of the above analysis, the application was closed. [Aman Vachar v. Union of India, WP (C) No. 2712 of 1991, decided on 1-4-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:


For the Respondent:

Mr Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India with Mr Imon Bhattacharya, Adv.

Hot Off The PressNews

Here’s the press statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs with regard to the comments by some foreign individuals and entities on the farmers’ protests:

“The Parliament of India, after a full debate and discussion, passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector. These reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers. They also pave the way for economically and ecologically sustainable farming.

A very small section of farmers in parts of India have some reservations about these reforms. Respecting the sentiments of the protestors, the Government of India has initiated a series of talks with their representatives. Union Ministers have been part of the negotiations, and eleven rounds of talks have already been held. The Government has even offered to keep the laws on hold, an offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India.

Yet, it is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them. This was egregiously witnessed on January 26, India’s Republic Day. A cherished national commemoration, the anniversary of the inauguration of the Constitution of India, was besmirched, and violence and vandalism took place in the Indian capital.

Some of these vested interest groups have also tried to mobilise international support against India. Instigated by such fringe elements, Mahatma Gandhi statues have been desecrated in parts of the world. This is extremely disturbing for India and for civilised society everywhere.

Indian police forces have handled these protests with utmost restraint. It may be noted that hundreds of men and women serving in the police have been physically attacked, and in some cases stabbed and seriously wounded.

We would like to emphasise that these protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the efforts of the Government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse.

Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible. ”



Ministry of External Affairs

[Press Statement dt. 03-02-2021]

Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of External Affairs issues statement with regard to China’s discussion in UNSC on Jammu and Kashmir:

“We have noted that China initiated a discussion in the UN Security Council on issues pertaining to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

This was not the first time that China has sought to raise a subject that is solely an internal matter of India. As on such previous occasions, this attempt too met with little support from the international community. We firmly reject China’s interference in our internal affairs and urge it to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts.”

Ministry of External Affairs

[Statemnet dt. 06-08-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, JJ. while partly allowing the present petition stated that,

“Ministry of External Affairs, GOI may in their discretion consider evacuation of Indian students from Kazakhstan if imperative in latter’s interests.”

Central Government Standing Counsel, Jasmeet Singh representing Union of India and Ministry of External Affairs Government of India informed the Bench that Martin Cyriac Clemenese, Second Secretary and Officer-in-Charge of Representative Office of India at Almaty, Kazakhstan has been appointed as Nodal Officer for Indian Students in Kazakhstan.

115 Indian Students are stranded at the Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan. They have been provided with food, lodging and medical assistance in terms of Court’s order dated 25-03-2020, wherein it was directed by the Court:

“to promptly appoint a Nodal Officer from the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan to ensure, inter alia, the welfare, well-being and safety of all such Indian students. The Nodal Officer is directed to expeditiously facilitate, secure and provide the said students with all basic amenities and including humanitarian assistance, in terms of, medical care, boarding (food), lodging and transportation, as may be necessary or warranted.”

Court is also informed that none amongst these Indian Students are reported to be have been infected by corona virus.

Central Government Standing Counsel stated that in view of the complete lockdown ordered by Kazakhstan Government, it is not possible for them to be transported back to their hostel accommodation. Also they can’t be flown back to India due to complete lockdown.

Further he states that, Ministry of External Affairs shall continue to ensure and secure the welfare, well-being and safety of the students with the provision of basic amenities till the situation comes back to normal.

In view of the petition id disposed of. [Shehla Saira v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine Del 499 , decided on 27-03-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, J. prohibited the State from deporting the petitioners who were refugees belonging to the Rohingya community, and directed the respondents to provide them with all the basic amenities till the pendency of the petition.

In this particular case, the petitioners were refugees from Myanmar who belong to the “Rohingya” community, and their grievance was that the Indian authority was deporting them back to Myanmar even though they had been disowned by Myanmar. As such, their deportation would render them stateless.

Rachit Lakhmani and Indrojeet Dey, Advocates, appearing for the petitioner, pleaded that the aggrieved had completed their sentence for the alleged offences against them upon being detained by the respondent. They urged and this order will ultimately result in their death as the said country has declared a policy of all-out onslaught against the “Rohingya” community.

A.K. Nag, counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, submitted that the instant writ petition was vague. He further submitted that the Ministry of External Affairs of the Union of India was a necessary party and as such it must be allowed to submit its plea in the matter.

An adjournment was sought for on behalf of the Union of India but the Court opined that in view of basic human rights of individuals and spirit of humanity, in accordance with Fundamental Rights provided by the Constitution of India as well as the U.N. Charter, a minimum protection ought to be given to the petitioners till the writ petition is decided.

In view thereof, the Court issued an order of injunction preventing the State from deporting the petitioners until the pendency of the present writ petition. The court further directed the respondent to ensure that the petitioners are provided with basic amenities along with a normal respectable life, and the advocate representing the petitioners can meet them in the meantime.[Abdur Sukur v. State of West Bengal, 2019 SCC OnLine Cal 5455, decided on 24-12-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Following statement was issued yesterday by the Ministry of External Affairs with respect to the vandalism at Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan:

We are concerned at the vandalism carried out at the revered Nankana Sahib Gurdwara today. Members of the minority Sikh community have been subjected to acts of violence in the holy city of Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji. These reprehensible actions followed the forcible abduction and conversion of Jagjit Kaur, the Sikh girl who was kidnapped from her home in the city of Nankana Sahib in August last year.

India strongly condemns these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the members of the Sikh community. Strong action must be taken against the miscreants who indulged in desecration of the holy Gurudwara and attacked members of the minority Sikh community. In addition, Government of Pakistan is enjoined to take all measures to protect and preserve the sanctity of the holy Nankana Sahib Gurudwara and its surroundings.”

Ministry of External Affairs

[Press Release dt. 03-01-2020]

High Courts

Madras High Court: Taking note of the present scenario of changing relations between the families and society equally affecting the development of law, the Court directed the Ministry of External Affairs to amend the Passport Manual for incorporating additional columns in the passport application to enable the parties to indicate either the names of the adoptive parents or the step parents or all of them along side their biological parents or as the situation demands.

In the instant case the divorcee petitioner re-married and accordingly gave her minor daughter in adoption to her new husband. The petitioner then applied for the passport of her minor daughter, but with the completion of formalities exceeding the permissible time limit of 30 days the petitioner made enquiries and found out that the application was kept pending on account of the discrepancy between the name of the biological father and the name of the father indicated in the application form. The counsel for the respondents N. Ramesh contended that by way of Circular No.VI/401/01/05/2008, the name of the step father or stepmother of a child cannot be written in the passport of the children, he further contended that even in case the parents are divorced there can be no severance of relationship between the parents and a child therefore it may not be possible to change the name of the father of the minor child, as the same may conflict with the name indicated in the birth certificate of the child. The petitioner’s counsel referred various case laws and put forth the contention that it is possible to change of name of the father of the minor child. The Court however dismissed the cases cited by the petitioner counsel as irrelevant to the issue at hand.

On perusal of the issue in dispute in the present case the Court observed that issues of this kind are going to crop up in future as well, therefore the Government should be vigilant to take note of the societal changes and enact suitable laws. The Court chose to take note of legal system of USA and UK where the authorities have been careful to affect changes the passport application recognizing the diversity in family formations. The Court ordered the respondents to issue the passport to the petitioner’s minor daughter by indicating the name of the adoptive father as the stepfather in the column reserved for filling up the name of the father as the petitioner had not fulfilled the criteria of valid adoption under Section 9(3) of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1965. B.S. Deepa v. Regional Passport Officer, 2015 SCC OnLine Mad 108, decided on 23.01.2015