People wait outside the RPO Brabourne Road for their turn to meet passport officials. (Sanat Kumar Sinha)
Hundreds of people had been forced to queue up at the passport office recently following notices for “irregularities” found during police verification of their applications. The lot includes holders of Tatkal passports, whose verification was done after the document was issued. Metro tries to answer some questions on everybody’s minds.
Why do you need police verification after getting a Tatkal passport?
Of course, police verification is compulsory. In the absence of a clear report from the cops, the regional passport office (RPO) sends summons to the applicant.
He or she would have to appear before passport officials to explain the point on which the police submitted an adverse report.
How would the police verify your presence if you go abroad immediately after getting a Tatkal passport?
When police officers come to your residence for verification, others at home should inform them about your status abroad.
To prevent the police from submitting an adverse report, you could ask any of your relatives or acquaintances in the city to submit an application before the RPO informing that you could not undergo the police verification process because you were abroad.
In that case, your application would be uploaded with your online passport file number that would act as intimation for the police to know your status abroad.
Do you have any other responsibility other than submitting an application to the RPO informing the reason why you missed the police verification?
Yes, submitting the application would temporarily stall initiation of an adverse police report against you.
It would be your duty to contact the security control office or district intelligence bureau of your area to complete the police verification once you return from abroad.
On what grounds could the police file an adverse report?
Police may submit an adverse report in the following cases
● If they do not find you at home when they come for physical verification
● If your place of birth doesn’t match with your current address
● If they are not satisfied with any of your documents
What should you do if you get a letter from the passport office blaming you for suppression of facts, asking you to explain why your passport should not be impounded?
On receiving a showcause notice, you could opt for either of the two options
● If you are clueless why the police might have submitted an adverse report against you, visit the RPO to know the reason why you have been showcaused.
● If you are certain why an adverse report has been generated, you could send an application through registered post to the RPO explaining why police submitted an adverse report.
If the RPO finds your reply satisfactory, your letter would be treated as a request to reinitiate the police verification process. You could track the status of your case online through your file number.
Even after submission of application or documents, is there a chance that your passport would be impounded?
Your passport could be impounded if the ministry of external affairs finds that you have suppressed certain facts.
To the best of your knowledge, you did not suppress any information. But this showcause notice alleges you suppressed facts. Why is that so?
According to sources at the Calcutta RPO, it is a generic letter formatted to cover all probable offences as it is apparently impossible to mention individually to each of the applicant the exact reason why police submitted an adverse report.
Getting this letter doesn’t mean that your passport is going to be impounded. The impounding process begins if any suppression of fact is proved.
What can you do to avert this situation?
The best option, after you receive a Tatkal passport, is to contact the police in your area with relevant documents and get yourself verified before you leave the country.
That would save you the compulsion of being at home when the cops turn up for verification and avert the harassment of getting a showcause notice in case the police submit an adverse report for not finding you home.