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Delhi High Court quashes MEA order requiring Supreme Court, High Court judges to get political clearance for private foreign travel

The Court, however, noted that the Centre’s submission overlooked the fact that information about judges’ travel plans is known the moment a request is made to the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the MEA for issuance of a “Visa Support Notes Verbale”.

The Court further said that in any case, if an Indian citizen, including a judge, is caught in a crisis, Indian embassies/missions abroad are duty-bound to extend assistance to the extent possible, as and when they receive information of such an occurrence.

“Accordingly, the OM dated 13.07.2021, to the extent it requires the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad, is struck down, in view of the reasons articulated hereinabove and given the fact that this issue has received the attention of this court on an earlier occasion, as noticed hereinabove,” the Court ordered.

Source: Barandbench

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