Cops collect Rs 500 for clearing passport

Cops collect Rs 500 for clearing passport

Though there are no charges to be paid, most often local police stations ‘charge’ for the services of clearing the address verification reports and sending them back to the Passport Office.

While the authorities have been unable to get rid of the menace, complaints from the people show that they are being asked to shell out as much as Rs 500 per application to clear their pending forms from the local police station.

Complaints received at the Regional Passport Office have revealed that police stations at Padarayanapura and those under Ashok Nagar police station limits have been giving the run to passport applicants.

An official at the Passport Office said, the police were sending back the applications with an adverse report to the Passport Office.

Verifications delayed

“They have been sending each application back at least three to four times, citing different reasons why the verification could not be completed. We send them back to the officials without suspecting anything. Now, after receiving complaints, we have realised that they were charging Rs 500 to clear each application and all the adverse reports were a trick to make the applicants pay up,” the official said.

There is no money to be paid to the police by the applicant for the police verification.
A complaint has been lodged with senior police officer on the complaints. DCP (Intelligence) V S D’Souza said that they too were aware of the complaints as several applicants had sent them emails complaining them of the menace.

“These officers were pulled up and were changed from their duty,” he said.

According to the Passport Office, about 40,000 applications are pending with the police at present; 31,000 for more than 21 days. These numbers are contested by the police, who say they have only 25,000 applications pending.

“We are receiving around 800 cases everyday for police verification. It has not been easy to cope with the heavy numbers and we cannot depute other staff for the purpose as each of the application has to be signed by an inspector,” D’Souza said.

Though coping with a short-staff, the numbers are expected to come down in the next couple of months.

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