Vigilance clearance has been made mandatory in Jammu and Kashmir for obtaining a passport for all government employees.
According to a government order, an employee seeking a passport will have to secure a no-objection certificate (NOC ) from the concerned department on the basis of a vigilance report.
"The passport to the citizens, including government employees, is issued on the basis of verification carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID),’’ the order said. “The current system does not contain any mechanism that would help deny the passport to such employees who are either under suspension or facing departmental inquiry or prosecution on account of serious charges.”
It said currently a government employee only needs to inform his employer for applying for a passport. The guidelines for obtaining a passport have been reviewed by the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions, department of personnel & training, government of India in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
It said elaborate instructions have been issued for obtaining fresh vigilance clearance while considering grant of passports to government employees.
The order said the Anti-Corruption Bureau, J&K, has also brought to the notice of the government that the present mechanism allows issuance of passport to government employees, including those facing vigilance investigations, without obtaining requisite vigilance clearance.
It said all the administrative departments/heads of departments have been impressed upon that obtaining vigilance clearance by government employees for securing a passport is mandatory.
Jammu and Kashmir follows one of the most stringent investigations, including CID verification, before providing a passport to an applicant.
This year, the security clearance by the CID has been made tougher and police have been asked to verify the antecedents of all applicant, including participation in acts like stone pelting.
Passports of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and her mother have been blocked due to an adverse report by the CID. The duo are also facing investigations by the ED for money laundering.