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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Get aware of legal nuances in canceling passports: Kumaraswamy to Parameshwara

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 Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has urged state Home Minister G Parameshwara to familiarise himself with the legal and procedural requirements involved in the cancellation of diplomatic passports.

This comes amid ongoing efforts to revoke the diplomatic passport of Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, who faces allegations of sexual abuse.

“Does the Home Minister know the protocol or not? There are legalities and protocols to be followed. It’s not possible to immediately cancel in 24 hours. The procedure is there,” Kumaraswamy stated during a press conference here on Sunday.

Kumaraswamy emphasised that adherence to proper legal procedures is crucial and cannot be bypassed, responding to Dr Parameshwara’s criticism of the central government’s handling of the request to cancel Prajwal’s passport.

The controversy began when the Karnataka government requested the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to cancel Prajwal’s passport to facilitate his extradition and arrest. The request was officially received by the MEA on May 21, according to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. He explained that passport impoundment is governed by the Passport Act, which requires a judicial court or police request.

Jaishankar refuting claims of inaction by the Centre, clarified before the media that it was immediately acted upon and as of May 23 the procedure was initiated.

The allegations against Prajwal include sexual harassment and criminal intimidation, prompting the Karnataka government to form a Special Investigative Team (SIT) to probe the accusations.

According to reports, Prajwal left the country on April 27, using his diplomatic passport shortly after the first FIR was filed against him.

However, Kumaraswamy backed the state government’s request to the Centre to cancel the diplomatic passport of Prajwal, facing serious allegations of sexual abuse. “We are going to support it. We welcome if the Centre decides to cancel Prajwal’s diplomatic passport,” he affirmed.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1 and May 23, urging swift action to cancel Revanna’s passport. In his letters, Siddaramaiah described Prajwal’s flight from the country as “shameful,” emphasising the urgency of revoking his diplomatic privileges to bring him to justice.

As the investigation continues, Kumaraswamy’s endorsement of the passport cancellation adds a significant political dimension to the unfolding legal and procedural saga. The Karnataka government and the Centre are under pressure to ensure that due process is followed while addressing the serious allegations against the Hassan MP.

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