Punjab & Haryana High Court Rebukes State Authorities Over Non-Compliance with Prescribed Proforma in Passport Police Verification

LI Network

Published on: January 15, 2024 at 11:40 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has expressed displeasure with state authorities for not adhering to the prescribed proforma in sending police verification reports for passport issuance, despite explicit instructions given in various cases.

In September 2023, the High Court, recognizing that incomplete reports from police authorities were a “root cause of passport denial,” directed these authorities to disclose the complete status of FIRs during verification for passport issuance.

Furthermore, the Court emphasized the importance of following the proforma prepared for information furnished by Police Officials, as outlined in the meeting facilitated by the Additional Solicitor General of India, pursuant to the case of Mohan Lal @ Mohna vs. Union of India and others.

In the recent proceedings, Justice Jagmohan Bansal remarked, “Despite specific orders passed in Mohan Lal @ Mohna (supra) as well as the order dated 13.09.2023 in CWP No. 19314 of 2020, the State authorities have not started sending police verification reports in the prescribed proforma. The passport authorities are also not asking the police officials to send their reports in the prescribed proforma.”

The Court underscored that these orders were issued to prevent unnecessary litigation and urged the passport authorities to implement them diligently. Failure to do so may result in contempt proceedings against the authorities in the future, according to the Court.

These comments were made in response to a plea filed by an applicant denied a passport due to “adverse police verification.” The individual had been acquitted in a criminal case, with an appeal pending before the High Court.

During the previous hearing, the Court noted that the police verification was not conducted according to the prescribed proforma, leading to the rejection of the applicant’s request.

The Court issued notices to the Union government and the State. Raman Sharma, Additional Advocate General of Haryana, stated that the Court’s order in the Mohan Lal @ Mohan case had not been circulated to field staff, resulting in police officials continuing to use the old proforma.

The senior panel counsel for the Union of India assured that the petitioner’s application would be considered and resolved within six weeks.

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