L. Srikrishna

Officials lodge a complaint with the police

MADURAI: The passport officials have lodged a complaint with the police after they unravelled fake photocopy documents such as birth certificates and bank pass books filed along with applications seeking fresh passport.

The passport officials in Madurai Region receive around 12,000 to 15,000 applications every month from public spread over Dindigul to Kanyakumari districts seeking issuance of fresh passports. After initial processing, the applications are despatched to the respective district/cities for police verification, officials said.

Recently, at a random check conducted, the staff at the passport office suspected the genuineness of the documents attached with the applications. A swift inquiry unravelled that the applicants had filed forged documents.

According to Passport Officer Jose K. Mathew, the photocopies of birth certificates and passbooks (enclosed for age proof and residence proof) along with the applications of a few persons were found to be bogus. “We have lodged a complaint with the police”, he told The Hindu on Wednesday.

It has come to light that some applications submitted from districts like Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga among others had bogus certificates enclosed with them.

A senior police officer said that the applicants took the photo copies of a pass book (belonging to some person) by hiding the original names. Later, they had fabricated fresh copies and filled in with their names, which would appear “genuine”. The statement of accounts too did not belong to the applicants, it was found. In a similar modus operandi, some applicants had managed to obtain birth certificates, he added.

Even as the filing procedure had been streamlined to a large extent by introduction of e-registration, such attempts to cheat the passport officials would be viewed seriously, Mr. Mathew said. Public can view the official website of the passport office for any clarification and need not be influenced by the touts, he appealed.

Appearance

Mr. Mathew said that in the event of a minor seeking passport, the staff do not insist on the appearance of the parents, especially, when the husband worked abroad. The parent working abroad shall file an affidavit before the appropriate authorities in that country.

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