50 verification certificates were issued by the official in the past six months, raising fears that documents were forged

The Regional Passport Office here has ordered a probe into the issuance of 50 verification certificates in the past six months by an official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). These certificates had been issued for obtaining passports under the Tatkal scheme.

Regional Passport Officer K. Srikar Reddy told reporters on Thursday that a complaint would be lodged with the police to find out how so many certificates were issued by a single officer, apart from verifying the authenticity of the documents. Details were also sought from the DRDO in this regard, he said.

Last year, the RPO had detected 50 forged verification documents issued in the name of IAS and IPS officers. Begumpet police have already registered a case in the matter.

Recently, an applicant had submitted a forged document, which was attested from a local court.

“After receiving the document, we enquired with the court, which denied any such attestation,” he said.

“We are dealing with these cases very seriously and necessary action would be taken against those involved in it after investigation,” Mr. Reddy said.

The passport office has also set up a centralised control room at the Secunderabad office to oversee the functioning of Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in the State with the help of surveillance cameras.

“We can monitor live the flow of applicants and submission process and if needed depute additional staff. We can also directly speak to the applicants’ online and collect feedback from them,” he explained. Using CCTVs, a police constable was caught red-handed for accepting a bribe at the Secunderabad RPO recently. He was later suspended.

Kiosks’ kick-off today

Online payment of processing fee at will be facilitated from PSKs at Begumpet, Ameerpet, Tolichowki, Nizamabad, Vijayawada and Tirupati from Friday.

The processing fee can be paid while booking an appointment on the website www.passportindia.gov.in either by debit/credit card or via SBI internet banking. Those intending to pay the amount through challan, can check the details on the passport website.

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