To empower applicants, give information on pending applications
ASocial Audit Cell has been opened at the Regional Passport Office, Tiruchi, to provide information regarding pending passport applications, especially complicated cases.
All information that is supposed to be provided by the office as per the Right to Information (RTI) Act would be provided at the cell upon oral enquiry by the applicants free of cost, said Regional Passport Officer K. Balamurugan.
Explaining the objectives of opening the cell, Mr. Balamurugan, in a press release, said the move was intended to empower applicants, especially those from rural areas, and enhance transparency.
While literate persons obtain information regarding their pending applications through the Grievance Cell or under the Right to Information Act, it had been noticed that illiterate or semi-literate applicants from rural areas were not aware of the RTI Act.
But they frequented the Passport Office and some of them fall prey to touts, who hold out false promises to get them passports.
The Social Audit Cell has been opened primarily for the benefit of such applicants, Mr. Balamurugan said and added that information would be given in the form of hard copies to persons who had pending applications.
Copies of documents such as police verification reports with remarks or notes of the police officials; file notes of the verification officer or granting officer regarding ‘on hold’ applications; details of previous or lost passports to enable applicants to file an FIR with the police regarding loss of passport; and details about information sought from missions or embassies abroad for issue of passport to applicants who had travelled on emergency certificates (EC) could be obtained from the cell.