The blame-game between the police and the regional passport office in Patna, over Hasan Ali Khan, the 56-year-old alleged money-launderer from Pune, has begun after one of the multiple passports issued to him was traced to Patna.
On Friday, the Kotwali police, investigating the criminal case instituted against Khan in December 2010, shot off a letter to the regional passport officer (RPO), Patna, demanding a photocopy of all documents attached by Khan while applying for his passport (A1519660, dated April 10, 1997).
This has put the passport officer in a spot. The reason: Khan’s file has now gone missing. “In January this year, we intimated the enforcement directorate (ED) that is monitoring the case that the file concerned is ‘untraceable’,” said a passport official, requesting anonymity. “But we are still trying to locate it,” he hastened to add.
The passport officials, on the other hand, contend that if police verification had been done, the cops should have a copy of Khan’s documents as well as its verification report.
The official added, “The case is old. We are banking on the passport issue register, the register in which police verification reports are logged and the Passport Information Services on the Net — an office intranet system to flesh out records.”
Defending his office, passport superintendent Manoj Kumar Roy said, “We have filed a case against him for obtaining a passport by suppressing material evidence (Section 12[A] of the Passports Act, 1967). He never mentioned he had multiple passports from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and the Indian embassy in London.”
Interestingly, Khan’s passport was issued in Patna during the ‘Report Overdue System’ (ROS), when a passport could be issued if the police did not submit its verification report within four weeks.
However, Roy confirmed that the RPO, Patna, did receive Khan’s police verification report. The ROS was in place between mid-1996 and June 2000 after which police verification was made mandatory.
Senior superintendent of police, Patna, Alok Kumar said, “We have sought relevant documents from the passport office within three days.”