Actor Shiney Ahuja who was convicted in 2011 for a rape case of his maid has been granted permission by the Bombay High Court to renew his passport for 10 years. The actor who has been on bail since 2011 had moved to the HC for a 10-year passport renewal. Shiney in his application stated that at present his passport was being renewed by passport authorities only for a period of one year which was causing hardships as some countries do not allow Indian citizens to carry a passport having a validity of less than six months to stay in that country.
Justice Amit Borkar noted that Shiney, who was sentenced to seven years in jail by a court in Mumbai, has been complying with the conditions imposed on him. "It appears that during the pendency of the present appeal, the passport of the applicant has been renewed six times. It is, therefore, unlikely that the applicant carries flight risk," Justice Borkar observed.
The bench further noted that "there is no violation of bail conditions" even though the passport has been renewed six times. “The applicant has made out a case for direction to the passport authority to renew his passport for ten years,” the court noted.
The bench, in the end, directed the passport authorities to not reject Ahuja's application on the grounds of pendency of his appeal and declared him eligible for renewal of the document. “Respondents passport authority and Union Government are directed that the application of Ahuja for renewal of passport for a period of ten years shall not be rejected on the ground of pendency of the present appeal, provided the applicant is otherwise eligible for renewal of passport.”