Taking up the petition filed by Davinder Singh, one of the accused in 1984 Indian Airlines plane hijack, the Punjab and Haryana high court after finding nothing adverse against the petitioner has directed the union government to issue him a passport as per law.
Davinder Singh, along with 6 others was allegedly involved in hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane Boeing 737 with 79 passengers on board to Pakistan on August 24, 1984. The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Delhi to Srinagar via Chandigarh and was diverted to Lahore shortly after taking off from Chandigarh. Finally the aircraft was taken to Dubai where the passengers were released.
Davinder Singh, a resident of Chandigarh, was sentenced to life imprisonment but later the Supreme Court had commuted his life sentence for the period of service already undergone and he was ordered to be released on October 3, 1996.
Justice K Kannan also issued the directions to the concerned ministry of the union government to consider Davinder Singh's application seeking passport favourably.
The government authorities had rejected Davinder Singh's application for passport in January, 1999 under the Passport Act. His appeal for passport was again rejected by the government in January, 2004.
The petitioner had moved the high court on the ground that there is no particular impediment against the issuance of passport especially when more than 5 years have expired since the order of release and there is no bar under any of the provisions of the Passport Act from issuing the passport.
However, the union government contended that the state government had not made a favourable recommendation. Also, the state has itself filed a reply stating that although the petitioner had been convicted in a heinous crime and for an anti-national activity, he has not come in any adverse activity subsequent to his release.