• In-laws not giving back the passport

Good evening sir,

Me and my husband are going on a fight and have approached family courts. This all began when my husband approached the court filing for nullity of marriage stating that the marriage has not been consummated. After the marriage, we stayed together for a couple of days in India and abroad. After my return from overseas, my inlaws took away my jewellery and passport and all other imp documents to keep in safe custody. After few days , my parents were called to discuss the issues between me and my husband and my inlaws forced me to sign on the stamp papers which were taken on my name and all wrong things maligning my character were written on it. Further, they have mentioned on the documents that all the jewellery given during marriage has been taken back by me and no other document or things that belong to me have been retained by them. However, the fact is all my jewellery, passport and gift items are with them. Afterwards my husband on GPA has filed a petition for nullifying the marriage and further they produced those stamp papers on which they took my signatures. Subsequently, I also had approached the court and filed 498a got the look out notice issued against him and also a cheating case against them. 
The present situation is- my husband wants to go for a divorce on mutual consent and he agrees to return back my jewellery and also give an undertaking regarding those stamp papers taken on my name. However they claim that they don't have my passport. I am scared to go for a settlement without my passport. PleaSe suggest how can I come out of this situation. Can I lodge a complaint now regarding my passport as it has been retained by my inlaws. Please suggest.
Asked 8 months ago in Family Law from Hyderabad, Telangana
Religion: Hindu
Divorce by Mutual Consent is the easiest way to get a divorce, in this both parties work out their terms on which they agree to part ways- file petition in the court, which is finalised in 6 months. However there may be cases where the decision to part may not be a mutual one, and it is only one party who considers the union to be troublesome and worth getting rid off. Such situations lead to Divorce being contested.

You can settle the matter by using mediation or adalath. file a mutual divorce petition. 

You may file a complaint with regard to the loss of passport. For getting a duplicate passport ,the  Copy of the FIR filed with the nearest police station is necessary. 

For duplicate passport an application must be submitted with required documents either personally or a representative can apply if carrying an authority letter.
The documents required are as follows,

Duplicate passport application form which is same as new passport application
Two passport size photographs
The police certificate(FIR) and receipt
Address proof (old passport photocopy if available)
Educational qualification certificates photocopy
Date of birth proof
Notary for loss of passport(another notary is required if applying for tatkal)
An urgency letter for tatkal
Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
1905 Answers
19 Consultations
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Hi, Ask your husband that you can give the consent to the mutual consent divorce only when your husband handed over the passport to you otherwise there is no question of settlement.

2. Secondly you can also lodge a police compliant against your husband and inlaws for taking passport and if they fail to return the passport you can apply for duplicate passport on the basis of the complaint.
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4104 Answers
133 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
You can file a police complaint for theft of your passport against your in-laws. If there is some delay in the filing of complaint then the same will have to be explained by you. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18055 Answers
445 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) refuse to enter into settlement until passport is returned by your in laws 

2) file police complaint against husband and in laws under section 406 of IPC for   criminal breach of trust as they have wrongfully retained your passport 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23089 Answers
1212 Consultations
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if your marriage is lasting for more than one year no case for nullity of marriage is maintainable. 

you may file FIR under section 379/381/504/506/384 IPC along with 498 A. all things mentioned by your are your stridhan and even your husband cannot take it his possession without your permission. 

Q. " The present situation is- my husband wants to go for a divorce on mutual consent and he agrees to return back my jewellery and also give an undertaking regarding those stamp papers taken on my name. However they claim that they don't have my passport. I am scared to go for a settlement without my passport. "

A. this bargain makes divorce on mutual consent void because he is blackmailing you or say compel you to give consent for mutual divorce. 

A chattiar vs Shubbharaj AIR 2016  Supreme Court  is held that consent obtained for divorce by undue influence is void. 

Your husband and in laws are bound to return your property so they cannot bargain divorce on the term of returning all articles.
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2706 Answers
41 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Best thing is lodge an FIR for loss of passport at the nearest police station. Chances are great you may never get your passport as your in-laws may have mischeviously destroyed your passport to harass you.  They will deny that they have your passport.

So after trying this, apply for a new one no point in breaking your head for it. 

Regds, 

Adv. Payal
Payal Arora
Advocate, Pune
331 Answers
7 Consultations
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Hi 
First file a complaint of lost passport in the police station. because without FIR and untraceable report by police, you will not get a duplicate passport issued by Regional passport office. 
You can also name your in laws as suspects in the said FIR. In all likelihood only your in laws must have taken custody of the passport and hopefully they did not destroy it (so as to destroy the evidence of you living with your husband in USA)
Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
868 Answers
43 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Your passport is your personal document and property.  
Nobody has a right to take it away from including police or even the court without valid reason or without following due process of law.
If you are sure that your mother in law is keeping the passport in her possession you can either issue a legal notice to her to return the same or lodge a criminal complaint with the police seeking to retrieve the same from her and initiate p\appropriate legal action of this illegal act.
If the police is not is supporting or cooperating, you may file a petition before magistrate court to direct the police to take proper action on your complaint and to register a FIR also if need be.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13907 Answers
127 Consultations
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