Police to verify after passport is issued

To speed up the process of issuing passports, the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to do the police verification after the passport is delivered to the applicant, at no extra cost.

The ministry has introduced the Out-Of-Turn Passports for normal first-time applicants. This was introduced after the ministry received a feedback and complaints from citizens that police verification was time consuming and led to delays in issue of passports. There were also complaints of the police personnel demanding bribes.

Regional passport officer Bharat Kumar Kuthati said that under this scheme, no proof of urgency will be required to be submitted and passports will be issued first and police verification done later. No additional fee will be levied. But appointments will have to be sought through normal channels and not tatkal.

Kuthati explained that this was different from the tatkal scheme. Here, applicants apply under the regular format for a passport.

At the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), the official in charge would decide, based on the documents submitted, whether the services should be speeded up or should go through the normal course of prior police verification. More the supporting documents, more chances of the passport being speeded up. Applicants can also indicate on the form that they want the passport to be issued under the Out-Of-Turn scheme.

There have also been instances where even tatkal applicants have had to wait for 10 days or more to seek appointments at the PSK. This scheme will address all these issues, he said. This will be handy for applicants from districts and rural areas where police verification takes more than 30 days.

This is a part of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network Systems Project (CCTNSP) introduced by the ministry in January. Here police verification is done online. Police carry handheld devices and upload data online when verifying the address. This will also help create a database to keep a tab on criminals.

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