THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The lethargy of the hotel owners in submitting the documents regarding accommodation of foreign tourists in the State is creating a headache for the law enforcers, who view this inactive attitude as inimical to the nation’s security.
Last year, 10 cases were registered against hotel owners/managers by Kovalam police for failing to submit the C-form to the security officials concerned.
Laws stipulate that those who accommodate foreign tourists should submit duly-filled C-certificate form to the City Police Commissioner or the station concerned, within 24 hours of the tourists’ arrival.
It is this rule that is being constantly flouted by the hotel staff. Kovalam SI O A Sunil told Express that the cases regarding violation of Foreigners Registration Act were rampant nowadays.
”Last year, we had 10 cases registered in the station. The current year, we have already registered two cases. Though we have alerted the hotel staff and owners of various homestays about the importance of filing the form, cases are popping up occasionally. In most of the cases, the reason behind the issue is the dereliction of duty by the hotel staff, who are obliged to submit the paper,” he said. According to the statistics maintained by the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), 47 cases were registered under Foreigners Registration Act in the year 2010. In the year 2009, the figure was 38, and in 2008 it was 33.
The statistics available with the website till June 2011 show the figure as 11 cases. With no updates being made on the website, compiling the total number of cases in the year 2011 seems to be an uphill task. But given the data obtained in previous years, the number is expected to be higher.
Meanwhile, the Police Department has introduced online facility to submit the C-form. The hoteliers affiliated with the Tourism Department can avail of this facility.
According to the Varkala Sub-Inspector, who polices the major tourist hotspot in southern Kerala, the new scheme has helped to bring down the legal infringement by the hoteliers as they now find it rather easy to submit the form. “It comes handy for the police and the hoteliers as well,” he added.