By: Nadeem Nadu
Srinagar: The government has asked passport authorities as well as verifying agencies not insist on latest vigilance clearance from its employees, underlining that it causes “unnecessary delay and unwarranted inconvenience” in issuance of the passport.
“Attention of Administrative Departments/Heads of Departments/Passport issuing/verifying authorities is invited towards Circular No. 35-JK(GAD) of 2021 Dated 16.09.2021, wherein it has been made mandatory to seek the latest vigilance status of a Government employee applying for issuance of a passport,” reads a circular by the government. These instructions have been notified in consonance with the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Department of Personnel & Training, Government of India vide Office Memorandum on 18th February 2020.
“However, instances have come into the notice of the Government that in view of the aforementioned circular instructions, the Passport issuing authority as well as verifying agencies are also insisting for obtaining latest vigilance clearance in respect of the Government employees before initiating the verification process, which causes unnecessary delay and unwarranted inconvenience in issuance of Passport to the applicants, which is/was, however, not the underlying intention of the instructions,” the circular reads.
“With a view to remove the ambiguity involved, if any, at any level, it is further clarified that once the prior intimation (PI) given by the applicant (government employee) in Annexure-H is duly acknowledged by the Controlling/Administrative Authority/Employer in favour of such employee OR the prescribed annexure/certificate is issued in favour of such employee by his/her Controlling/Administrative Authority/Employer, it shall be presumed that the concerned department has obtained the prior vigilance status in respect of the intending applicant and the Passport issuing authority/verifying agencies (CID/Police) shall not separately insist for seeking vigilance clearance/status.”
It shall be the responsibility of the Controlling/Administrative Authority/Employer of the employee to seek his/her prior vigilance status before acknowledging the prior intimation given by such employee or before issuing the prescribed annexure/certificate in his/her favour, the government said.
“It is also clarified that the Police/CID shall undertake character/antecedent verification at their level independent of the vigilance status of the government employee,” it said, adding, “These instructions shall be in amplification of Circular No. 35-JK(GAD) of 2021 dated 16.09.2021, issued on the subject matter.” (GNS)