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Passport Verification on Sale

A passport sting has now faced in Karnataka. The state Lokayukta has charges six senior government officers of taking bribes in return for issuing verification on passports. Over 1,000 such verifications were issued over a term of five months. The state anti-corruption unit in its statement claims that the senior officers, counting a DGP-rank police officer and a retired IAS officer got bribes up to Rs 16,000 to verify a single passport. In total, the six officers provided certificates for just about 1,000 passports over a period of just five months in 2012. "We have suggested action against these officers under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Passports Act and the Indian Penal Code. Now it is left to the passport officer to file a complaint or whether they want to carry out their own enquiry further," said HSN Rao, ADGP, Lokayukta Police, Karnataka. The list of officers comprises IPS officer Susant Mahapatra, DGP (Training), got bribes ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 16,000 for each passport. Under the Tatkal scheme, an applicant can obtain a verification certificate from an IAS/IPS (administrative) cadre officer as an alternative of the regular police verification process. The officer concerned will confirm that the applicant does not draw any provisions where the passport authority shall say no him a passport. The Lokayukta police have been capable to verify the background of only 87 of the 1,000 passports but the big query is whether there could be a risk that the passports could fall into the incorrect hands.

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