SRINAGAR: The J&K administration has made it mandatory for government employees in the Union Territory to get vigilance clearance before applying for a passport. A circular issued by the Commissioner Secretary to J&K Government Manoj Kumar Dwivedi stated that the passport to citizens, including government employees is issued on the basis of verification carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The current system, it stated, does not contain any mechanism to deny passports to such employees, who are either under suspension or are facing departmental inquiry or prosecution on account of serious charges. At present, a government employee was only required to inform his employer before applying for a passport.
The circular stated that guidelines for obtaining a passport have been reviewed by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training in consultation with Central Vigilance Commission and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and vide Office Memorandum No. F. No. 11012/7/2017- Estt.A-111 dated February 2020, elaborate instructions have been issued for obtaining fresh vigilance clearance while considering grant of passport to Government employees.
It further stated that the Anti Corruption Bureau J&K has also brought to the notice of the government that the present mechanism for issuance of passports to government employees without obtaining requisite vigilance clearance results in the issuance of passports to the employees against whom vigilance cases are pending.
According to the circular, there is an urgent need to instruct all departments to issue the NOC for issuance of passports on the basis of vigilance clearance only. All Administrative Departments have been asked to mandatorily obtain the latest vigilance clearance of an employee applying for a passport.