Vigilance Clearance Now Mandatory For Govt Employees Applying For Passports

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has made vigilance clearance mandatory for obtaining a passport by a government employee, stating that the current system does not contain any mechanism to deny passport to employees under suspension or facing departmental inquiry or prosecution on account of serious charges.

According to Circular No. 35JK(GAD) of 2021, the government stated that there is an urgent necessity to instruct all the departments to issue the NOC for issuance of passport on the basis of vigilance clearance only.

“The passport to the citizens including Government employee is issued on the basis of verification carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The current system does not contain any mechanism as would help denying the passport to such employees who are either under suspension or facing departmental inquiry or prosecution on account of serious charges,” reads the order.

It reads that currently, a government employee is only required to inform his employer for applying for a passport on Annexure-H.

“The guidelines for obtaining passport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training, GoI in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and vide Office Memorandum No. F. No. 11012/7/2017-Estt.A-III dated 18th February 2020, elaborate instructions have been issued for obtaining fresh vigilance clearance while considering grant of passport to Government employees.”

It reads that anti-Corruption Bureau, J&K has also brought into the notice of the Government that the present mechanism for issuance of passport to Government employees without obtaining requisite vigilance clearance results in the issuance of passport to those employees against whom vigilance cases are pending.

“Accordingly, it is impressed upon all the Administrative Departments/Heads of Departments to mandatorily obtain the latest vigilance clearance in respect of an employee applying for obtaining a passport in terms of Office Memorandum dated February 18, 2020 issued by DOPT, GOI, strictly,” reads the order.

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