In the facts and circumstances of the case and with consent and request of learned advocates appearing for the parties, this petition was taken up for final consideration.
1.1 Rule returnable forthwith. Learned advocate Mr. Priyank Lodha waives service of rule on behalf of the respondent-passport authority.
2. By filing the present petition, the petitioner has prayed (i) for a direction to the respondent- passport authority to grant the passport facility to the petitioner with the changed name of father of the petitioner "Deepakkumar Shankerlal Sutariya" as mentioned in the application form submitted by the petitioner. Interim prayer is made to accept the application of the petitioner for grant of passport facility in favour of the petitioner with the changed name of father as "Deepakkumar Shankerlal Sutariya" as Page 1 of 5 HC-NIC Page 1 of 5 Created On Fri Jun 10 22:40:53 IST 2016 C/SCA/14173/2015 ORDER mentioned in the application and take a decision considering the documents annexed therein. 2.1 The petitioner is minor who has approached this Court by filing this petition through his mother & guardian-Archanaben.
3. The facts in a nutshell. On 02.07.1999, Archanaben married to one Chaudhri Chhotulal @ Arvindbhai Vithalbhai. The petitioner named Trushil was born on 25.05.2002 out of the said wedlock. The marriage between Archanaben and said Chaudhri came to be dissolved by decree dated 30.07.2010 passed by the competent court. Thereafter, Archanaben remarried to one Deepakkumar Shankerlal Sutariya who was also divorcee. The marriage was registered with the Registrar of Marriages. It is stated that after remarriage, passport to Archanaben was issued in which the name of Archanaben was recorded as Archanaben Deepakkumar Sutariya and she was shown to be spouse of said Deepakkumar.
3.1 Thereafter, the petitioner Trushil who was minor came to be adopted by Deepakkumar as father and mother was Archanaben under the provisions of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. The adoption deed was registered on 23.03.2011. Thus, under the said deed, Deepakkumar became adoptive father of minor Trushil.
3.2 It is the case of the petitioner that thereafter through his mother Archanaben, he made an application dated 22.07.2015 for grant of passport. Since there Page 2 of 5 HC-NIC Page 2 of 5 Created On Fri Jun 10 22:40:53 IST 2016 C/SCA/14173/2015 ORDER was a change in the name of father, various documents such as deed of divorce, necessary affidavit and the adoption deed which was a registered deed, were submitted to the respondent-passport authority together with additional affidavit of adoptive father. It is the grievance of the petitioner that the respondent-passport authority has not been processing the application of the petitioner for grant of passport despite aforesaid documents having been submitted to it.
4. Learned advocate for the petitioner submitted that the passport authority ought to have accepted the evidence submitted with the affidavit dated 23.07.2015 and ought to have issued the passport with the name of father duly corrected. On the other hand, learned advocate for the respondent submitted that the correction can only be effected in accordance with law provided that the petitioner provides a valid base by producing satisfactory material.
5. Under sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Passport Act, 1967, as provided in clause (c), the passport authority is enjoined to make an inquiry pursuant to an application made under sub-section (1) of Section 5. The passport authority is further obliged to pass an order in writing with regard to the application for issuance or renewal of the passport made before it. In other words, the passport authority is under statutory obligation to discharge its duties as per the aforesaid provisions. In the present case though the application dated 22.07.2015 and affidavit Page 3 of 5 HC-NIC Page 3 of 5 Created On Fri Jun 10 22:40:53 IST 2016 C/SCA/14173/2015 ORDER dated 23.07.2015 along with requisite documents are submitted by the petitioner, neither any decision is taken nor anything is communicated to the petitioner. In the facts and circumstances therefore limited relief could be granted to the petitioner.
5.1 It is quite pertinent to note that the case of the petitioner for correction of name of his father is based on the adoption of the petitioner by the adoptive father. The adoption is based on a registered adoption deed. In this regard, this Court in Ambalalal Shankarbhai Patel vs. Union of India [1992(2) GLR 1317] followed by another decision in Patel Mukeshkumar Karshanbhai vs. Regional Passport Authority [2012(1) GLH 682], has taken a view that the adoption effected by way of registered deed and the details thereby resulting in respect of status of the adoptive son and adoptive father are binding to the passport authority. The adoption deed if registered raises a valid reason with regard to the adoption.
6. Learned advocate for the respondent-passport authority submitted that other incidental aspects may not bind the passport authority. In this regard, it is observed that as far as the registered adoption deed is concerned, it raises a valid reason in law and the same is held to be binding to the passport authority for the purpose of entering details in the passport on the basis of such registered adoption deed. The passport authority is not concerned with any other aspect.
7. The passport authority is directed to exercise its statutory powers and take a decision on the application of the petitioner in respect of petitioner's request for correction of his father's name by mentioning name of his father as Deepakkumar Shankerlal Sutariya and issue a passport, as expeditiously as possible and preferably within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of this order. The petitioner would be at liberty to produce all and any such documents in support of his prayer, copies of which are produced in this petition as well as additional documents, if any. The passport authority shall take into account all the materials placed before it and take a decision in accordance with law, rules and merits.
7.1 This Court has not gone into the merits of the case of the petitioner. Any observation made in this order shall not be construed as expression on merits.
8. Petition is allowed in terms of above directions. Rule is made absolute to the aforesaid extent.
Direct service is permitted.
(N.V.ANJARIA, J.) chandrashekhar Page 5 of 5 HC-NIC Page 5 of 5 Created On Fri Jun 10 22:40:53 IST 2016