Maharashtra minister Wadettiwar's passport impounded

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Nagpur, Jan 7 (PTI) Maharashtra cabinet minister and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar's passport has been impounded in a case related to alleged non-disclosure of criminal offences pending against him while applying for the travel document, the Nagpur passport office has said.

Wadettiwar on Thursday said he had himself surrendered his passport and the document is being verified by officials.

He also claimed no case is pending against him.

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court had in July last year issued notices to Wadettiwar, the Home Department, the Nagpur police commissioner, passport officers of Nagpur and Mumbai on a plea filed by former MLC Mitesh Bangadia.

In his plea, Bangadia had alleged Wadettiwar did not disclose information about criminal cases pending against him while applying for a passport, and demanded registration of an FIR against him.

The Nagpur passport office, in an order, said the passport of Wadettiwar was impounded on December 18, 2020, under relevant sections of the Passports Act, 1967.

The minister had personally surrendered his passport and submitted court judgement copies of cases pending against him.

Bangadia, through his counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar, had submitted in the HC that Wadettiwar applied for the passport in Nagpur for the first time on May 29, 2001, and 'knowingly' did not disclose criminal cases pending against him .

On the date of the application, there were more than 10 criminal cases pending against him, Bhandarkar told the HC.

'Therefore, Wadettiwar knowingly suppressed necessary information with a view to mislead the authorities in order to procure a passport in his favour and gave false information that no criminal cases were pending against him,' the petitioner had further submitted.

Wadettiwar did the same while applying for the travel document for a second time on January 25, 2007, he had told the court.

The petitioner had prayed to the HC to direct the city police commissioner, passport offices in Mumbai and Nagpur to register an FIR against the Congress leader under relevant sections of the IPC and order confiscation of his passport.

When contacted, Wadettiwar said he himself had surrendered his passport last month.

'I had some political cases in 2012 and someone has filed a complaint on that issue. I have given my passport. In today's date, there is no offence against me - be it political, civil or criminal,' the state relief and rehabilitation minister said.

'I myself have surrendered my passport... there is no question of my passport being seized as being circulated by many. My passport has been gone for verification and I think, I will get it back in few days,' he said. PTI CLS RSY RSY