MEA processing Karnataka’s request to cancel Prajwal Revanna’s diplomatic passport | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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MEA processing Karnataka’s request to cancel Prajwal Revanna’s diplomatic passport

May 23, 2024 10:22 AM IST

The Karnataka government’s formal letter seeking the revocation of Revanna’s passport was received by the external affairs ministry on Tuesday

The external affairs ministry is processing the Karnataka government’s request for cancelling the diplomatic passport of MP Prajwal Revanna, the suspended Janata Dal (Secular) leader who faces allegations of mass sexual abuse and is currently in Germany, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

A protest against Prajwal Revanna in Bengaluru on April 30. (PTI)
A protest against Prajwal Revanna in Bengaluru on April 30. (PTI)

The Karnataka government’s formal letter seeking the revocation of Revanna’s passport was received by the external affairs ministry on Tuesday, the people said on condition of anonymity.

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“This is being processed under the provisions of the Passports Act of 1967 and relevant regulations,” one of the people cited above said without giving more details. It was not immediately clear how long the process of cancelling the passport would take.

On May 2, the external affairs ministry acknowledged that Revanna travelled to Germany on a diplomatic passport but said authorities had no role in facilitating a visa for him. Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said according to the provisions of the Passports Act of 1967, passports can only be revoked on the directions of a court.

Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara said on Tuesday the state government had urged the Centre to cancel the diplomatic passport of Revanna, the MP from Hassan. Revanna, the grandson of JD(S) chief and former premier HD Deve Gowda, is the main accused in a high-profile case of mass sexual abuse.

The 33-year-old, who recently contested the Lok Sabha elections from Hassan, is facing charges of criminal intimidation, sexual harassment, and stalking after thousands of videos emerged purportedly showing him in sexual acts with multiple women.

“We have urged the Central government to revoke his diplomatic passport. Once this is done, Prajwal Revanna will have to return to India,” Parameshwara said.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case wrote to the external affairs ministry to cancel the diplomatic passport two days after the Special Court for Elected Representatives in Bengaluru issued an arrest warrant for Revanna in a rape case registered by a former domestic help on April 28.

Parameshwara said Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah too has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about cancelling the passport. “A warrant has been issued now and based on that, a letter has been written seeking the cancellation of his diplomatic passport,” he said.

Earlier, the SIT issued look out circulars, while Interpol issued a “Blue Corner Notice” seeking information on the whereabouts of the MP in response to a request by the SIT.

The external affairs ministry had also said holders of diplomatic passports don’t require a visa to travel to Germany. “No political clearance was either sought from or issued by the ministry of external affairs in respect of the travel of the said MP to Germany. Obviously, no visa note was issued either,” spokesperson Jaiswal said.

A “visa note” is a note verbale, or unsigned diplomatic correspondence, sent by the external affairs ministry to the embassy of a foreign country to facilitate the issuance of a visa.

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