No Police Verification for Every Passport Applicant, Needed only in Select Cases: MEATop Stories

June 21, 2018 15:50
No Police Verification for Every Passport Applicant, Needed only in Select Cases: MEA

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The Ministry of External Affairs has announced that not every passport applicant will have to wait for police verification, merely excluding the applicants with criminal antecedents.

The MEA has asked officials of concerned States and Union Territories to bound passport verification to limited applicants. The initiative was taken to simplify and streamline the process of police verification.

The initiative is expected to benefit students in acquiring passports without time lag, said Regional Passport Officer (RPO) E Vishnu Vardhan Reddy on Wednesday.

Currently, the police in person visit the resident of each applicant to check antecedents and submit a report to the Regional Passport Office for delivering the passport within the specific time period. However, the Ministry has recently asked authorities of States and UTs to limit verification to applicants with criminal antecedents and that there is no need for physical verification by visiting the address of the applicant, Reddy said while interacting with the media.

"It's up to the discretion of the police to continue to visit the applicant’s residence or to do away with it by confining to only verification of the antecedents of criminals," he said.

The police already maintain the data of all criminals from which the whereabouts of those involved in criminal cases can be verified. "We mainly focus on the doubts, if any, related to the applicant’s nationality, criminal cases or charge-sheets filed in a case booked against the applicant after being arrested," he added. He said the MEA's move would be accommodating for students as the existing practice is for the police to not only verify the applicants residential address but also the place of study.

The Ministry has likewise sanctioned integration of 'Verifast' application used by the Telangana police for passport verification with the 'Passport Seva System'. The procedure is likely to be accomplished by the end of June. This is anticipated to further cut down the time taken for police verification, in cases where it is essential, in the State, Reddy added.

By Sowmya Sangam

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