No passport to govt employees in J&K till they get vigilance clearance

The Union territory government on Thursday mandated heads of the administrative departments to “obtain the latest vigilance clearance” of employees before giving them a no-objection certificate needed to get the passport.
Passport J&K govt staff (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Passport J&K govt staff (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Sep 17, 2021 03:31 AM IST
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ByRavi Krishnan Khajuria, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Jammu and Kashmir government employees will not be issued a passport unless they get a vigilance clearance from their respective departments.

The Union territory government on Thursday mandated heads of the administrative departments to “obtain the latest vigilance clearance” of employees before giving them a no-objection certificate needed to get the passport.

To be sure, the central government already has provisions in place to empower departments to hold back approvals needed for the issue of passports to employees for private visits abroad in case the employee is under suspension, has been charge-sheeted by an investigating agency in a criminal case or the government has accorded sanction for prosecution in a corruption case.

But this procedure hadn’t been adopted in Jammu and Kashmir so far and government employees were only required to inform their employer about their application for passports.

An order issued by the Union territory’s General Administration Department (GAD) secretary Manoj Kumar Dwivedi said passports were being granted to citizens, including government employees, on the basis of verification carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

However, Dwivedi’s order added, “the current system does not contain any mechanism as would help denying the passport to such employees who are either under suspension or facing departmental inquiry or prosecution on account of serious charges.”

The order further stated that the Anti-Corruption Bureau had pointed out that the present mechanism, which allows issue of passport to government employees without requisite vigilance clearance, “results in the issuance of passport to those employees against whom vigilance cases are pending”.

“Thus, there is an urgent necessity to instruct all the departments to issue the NOC for issuance of passport on the basis of vigilance clearance only,” Dwivedi’s order issued on Thursday said. HT has reviewed a copy of the circular.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021