End Demands for Bribes in Police Verification for Passports
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Two years ago, I applied for a renewal of my minor daughter’s passport. To my pleasant surprise, the application at the local Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) was straightforward and fast. The problem began with the police verification process.
One day I got a call from a Sub-Inspector at our local police station in Gurgaon, asking me to report to him because our daughter’s identity needed to be verified and a certificate of her “good character” issued despite the fact that she was barely 4 years old at the time. He should have come to our house and verified my daughter’s identity & residence with our neighbours.
Although I knew that he was not following the correct procedure, I felt apprehensive about receiving such a call. Since my family was travelling abroad for a holiday shortly thereafter, I met the SI at the station and paid a bribe after getting several broad hints from him to the effect because I had heard of many cases of the police delaying the verification process until “speed money” is paid by passport applicants.
Last week, I applied for the renewal of my minor son’s passport, which took a record 35 minutes at the PSK. I'd like to congratulate the Ministry of External Affairs for streamlining the process so much. I would now like to follow the correct procedure regarding police verification as well, without experiencing glitches or hold ups. This time, I am determined not to go to the police station or pay a bribe to have the process carried out. I will also post a complaint on the Gurgaon Police Facebook page if I am asked for a bribe or if the verification is unduly delayed. In the meanwhile, I hope that the police do their job as they are meant to and not needlessly hassle citizens trying to carry out administrative tasks.
Therefore, I request the External Affairs Minister, the Home Minister, and fellow citizens who feel the same way I do, to please support me in my endeavour. We truly deserve better and cleaner governance.
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