Despite a written confession, Sangrur police failed to register an FIR against Darshan Singh Sarao of Niamatpur village here, who had acquired a passport by giving false information.
Sarao was issued the passport on October 15, 2010. The Chandigarh passport office had referred the case to the police on April 15, 2014. But, the latter had not responded to the former.
It was learnt that Sarao's son had already been booked for a similar offence and has been living in Canada using forged documents.
On April 5, 2014, Gurdial Singh Tiwana, brother-in-law of Sarao's son, complained to passport authorities and Sangrur senior superintendent of police that Sarao had provided false information about his educational qualification.
In his complaint, Tiwana claimed that Sarao had mentioned that he was illiterate and could sign only in Punjabi, whereas he had completed matriculation in 1969 and had done a diploma course from the Sangrur Industrial Training Institute. Tiwana also said that Sarao already had a passport under the name Darshan Singh, which he had concealed from the authorities.
When questioned about this by passport officials, Sarao gave a written confession that he had acquired the passport by giving wrong information.
Following this, Sangrur Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu directed the Amargarh deputy superintendent of police (DSP) to investigate the case.
In his statement to the police, Darshan confessed that he had completed school; and claimed to be illiterate to as he had no proof of his academic qualification. He also confessed about failing to inform authorities about his other passport.
It may be recalled that Sarao's son, Jasdeep Singh, had been booked for a similar act of cheating and forgery at the Amargarh police station on January 8, 2014.
The Sangrur SSP said that he had received a letter about the offence from the Chandigarh passport office. "Senior police officers are investigating the issue and a case will be registered once we have sufficient facts. Passport authorities will also be informed on completion of the investigation," said Sidhu.
Meanwhile, complainant Tiwana alleged that the police was under pressure to not act on the case as the accused was influential.
"It is a simple case, where the accused has even confessed to the crime and the passport officials have asked the police to act against Sarao. Still the police are not registering an FIR. I will move the high court after the completion of inquiry," he said.