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The HC can direct for surrender of passport for ensuring the presence of parties in contempt proceedings; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice R Banumathi & Justice A S Bopanna

The SC on March 19, 2020 {SHYAM SAHNI v. ARJUN PRAKASH AND OTHERS } held that since repeated undertakings were filed and the same were not complied with, learned Single Judge directed respondent No.1 to surrender his passport. It was held that the said order was passed to ensure the presence of the first respondent and compliance of the order of the Court. It was further held that it cannot be said that the learned Single Judge exceeded the jurisdiction or committed an error in ordering surrender of the passport. Further held that in order to ensure the presence of the parties in the contempt proceedings, the Court is empowered to pass appropriate orders including the surrender of passport. It was also held that while dealing with child custody matter, in David Jude vs. Hannah Grace Jude and Another (2003) 10 SCC 767, the Supreme Court directed Union of India to cancel the passport of contemnor No.1 and to take necessary steps to secure the presence of contemnor No.1 with the child in India and to ensure her appearance before the Court on the date of hearing.

In the present case, the appeal was filed assailing the impugned judgment and final order dated 01.08.2018 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in FAO (OS) No.210 of 2017 in and by which the Division Bench of the High Court had set aside the order of the learned Single Judge and allowed the appeal filed by respondent No.1 (defendant No.4) herein by holding that the passport of respondent No.1 (defendant No.4) ought not to have been ordered to be detained and further directed return of the passport of respondent No.1 (defendant No.4). The appeal was allowed by the SC setting aside the order of the Division Bench and restoring the order of the Single Judge directing deposit of passport.

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