The passport office in Chandigarh has destroyed over 350 passports just before their issue after realizing that they carried the stamp of an officer who died last month.
BR Duggal, the superintendent of the Chandigarh Regional Passport Office (RPO), went on leave in the last week of January and died.
In the meantime, the office had readied more than 350 passports, using Duggal's official authority stamp.
The authorities realised the glitch moments before issuing them to the applicants. They were destroyed Wednesday. An official said Thursday that new ones would be issued in their place.
Vitul Kumar, the regional passport officer said: "In Duggal's absence, 350 passports were made. Now we cannot issue them as they could cause problems during scrutiny at airports.
"We have destroyed all the passports. Our office will incur the cost of making new ones. We have informed MEA (ministry of external affairs). The new passports will be issued this week," he said.
The RPO caters to Chandigarh, 50 percent of Punjab and 60 percent of Haryana.
This region also has passport offices in Jalandhar and Amritsar in Punjab and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. Nearly 40 percent of the areas in Haryana are catered to by the passport office in Delhi.