Grievance regarding passport - CIC: The instant matter has been filed to merely channelise the grievance of the Appellant against non-issuance of passport to him; Asking for issuing the passport in the Second Appeal is not a maintainable relief under RTI
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 20.01.2020 seeking the following information:
1. What is the complaint no. of my grievance regarding to passport office Lucknow dated 03 July, 2019?
2. Is investigation have been completed or not?
3. If investigation did complete, what is report of action?
The CPIO replied to the Appellant on 04.02.2020 stating as under:
“It is intimated that your complaint dated 03.07.2019 has been sent to Ministry of External Affairs for necessary action vide Commission's OM No. 149328/2020/vigilance-9 dated 04.02.2020(copy enclosed). The Commission does not expect any report on complaint forwarded for necessary action; the concerned authority is expected to take necessary action in the matter. You may take up the matter with concerned authority for further information. Your RTI application is being transferred to CPIO, Ministry of External Affairs, South Block. New Delhi U/S 6(3) of RTI Act,2005 for appropriate action, as a matter of convenience to you.”
Being dissatisfied, the appellant filed a First Appeal dated 15.02.2020. FAA’s order, dated 12.05.20202, upheld the reply of CPIO.
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied, the appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal urging that passport may be directed to be issued to him after checking necessary papers.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Present through video conference.
Respondent No.1: Apul Jaiswal, Director & CPIO present through intra-video conference.
Respondent No.2: P Roy Chaudhuri, Advocate & Rep. of CPIO present through intra-video conference.
The Appellant stated at length the factual background of the information sought for in the RTI Application related to non-issuance of passport and argued that he is aggrieved with the fact that the CVC has not taken desired action on his complaint.
Respondent No.1 reiterated the reply provided to the Appellant and stated that CVC has no further role in the matter.
Respondent No.2 handed over their written submissions wherein the following details were stated:
“1. The Appellant Shri Javed Talat had filed various complaints between June, 2019 to October, 2019 before the office of Respondent No. 1 i.c. Central Vigilance Commission against the offices Uttar Pradesh Police and also against the office of Regional Passport Office, Lucknow (Respondent No. 2) for not issuing him passport even after seven years from the date of application of passport.
2. Thereafter, Shri Javed Talat filed the RTI application dated 20.01.2020 and wanted to know the action taken on his Complaint filed against the aforesaid offices.
3. The CPIO of CVC (Respondent No. 1) vide his reply dated 04.02.2020 informed the Appellant that his complaint dated 03.07.2019 has been forwarded to the CVO, Ministry of External Affairs vide a communication dated 04.02.2020. It was also informed to the Appellant that this Commission i.e. CVC does not expect any report on Complaint forwarded for necessary action, the concerned authority is expected to take necessary action in the matter 4. It is important to note that before filing of the present RTI dated 20.01.2020 with the Central Vigilance Commission, this office has exchanged multiple communications with Shri Javed Talat. The grievance of the Appellant revolve around the issue of his Passport.
5. The factual position of the case with respect to the Appellant's Passport are outlined below:
(1) Shri Javed Talat had obtained his passport for the first time in the year 1999 from Ahmedabad which expired in the year 2009.
(ii) Thereafter, Shri Javed Talat once again applied for a passport from Lucknow in the year 2010 but did not disclose the details of his previous passport. However, the Passport could not be issued to him since the Passport Office received an 'adverse' Police Verification Report (PVR)
(iii) Shri Javed Talat once again applied for a passport in the year 2011 but again an 'adverse' Police Report was received in the office of RPO, Lucknow and therefore a passport could not be issued to him.
(iv) Shri Javed Talat had filed an RTI before office of RPO, Lucknow on 26.08.2013 with regard to issuance of his passport and reply to the RII application was issued to Shri Javed Talat 20.09.2013. However, the said RII application has not been challenged in the present proceedings.
(v) Shri Javed Talat being aggrieved approached the Hon'ble Allahabad High Court by way of a Writ Petition C. No. 61614 of 2012 which was disposed on 13.07.2015 with the following directions:
Issue Show Cause Notice stating the short comings and asking reply from the Petitioner to give reply and thereafter on consideration of reply and material on record shall pass the order. In case, if the Petitioner is entitled for issue of passport the same may be issued within another period of one month and in case, the Petitioner is not entitled for the same, the appropriate reasoned order may be passed.
(vi) After the Hon'ble High Court passed the aforementioned Order, Shri Javed Talat once again applied for a Passport on 15.12.2015. However, again an adverse Police Report was received from the Police Authorities in the office of RPO, Lucknow. After receipt of adverse PVR, two Show Cause Notices were issued to Shri Javed Talat and thereafter case was processed in accordance with the provisions of the Passport Act. However, the Applicant did not give a satisfactory response to the Show Cause Notice and thereafter the file was closed on 13.12.2017 under intimation to the Appellant.
6. It is submitted that Shri Javed Talat has been filing various RTIs with this office on various occasions between 2013 to 2020 and every time suitable reply has been issued to the RTI Applicant.
7 Shri Javed Talat filed an RTI through online RTI portal of Ministry of External Affairs on 11:01 2021 which was transferred to CPIO, RPO, Lucknow.
8. As the applicant was filing multiple RTIs and grievances, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a letter on 17.06.2021 to Shri Javed Talat to contact RPO, Lucknow for redressal of his grievance and a copy of the said letter was also marked to RPO, Lucknow.
9. RPO, Lucknow also issued a letter dated 16.07.2021 to Shri Javed Talat giving reference to all his previous communications/RTI applications and requested him to visit this office for redressal of his grievance.
10. Thereafter, a letter dated 20.07.2021 was issued to the Police Authorities to provide the copy of PVR in the case of Shri Javed Talat and the same was received in this office vide letter dated 10.08.2021.
11. However, Shri Javed Talat even after requesting by this office vide letter dated 17.06.2021 did not visit this office.
12. It is submitted that passport could not be issued to Shri Javed Talat for the aforesaid reasons and Shri Javed Talat being aggrieved had filed multiple complaints/RTIs with the Ministry of External Affairs and also with the Central Vigilance Commission. It is therefore submitted that in the absence of a 'clear' police report, Regional Passport Office, Lucknow was unable to issue Passport to Shri Javed Talat.
13. With regard to the present RTI case, it is submitted that the RTI application dated 20.01.2020 that was filed in CVC was received in RPO, Lucknow by way of transfer on 13.02.2020 and The CPIO in response to the RTI Applicant issued its reply on 26.02.2020.”
The Commission based on a perusal of the facts on record observes that the instant matter has been filed to merely channelise the grievance of the Appellant against non-issuance of passport to him and in the process, he has asked for issuing the passport in the grounds of the Second Appeal, which is not even a maintainable relief under the RTI Act. For the said reason and in view of the replies provided by the CPIOs to the instant RTI Application, no action is warranted in the matter.
As from the gist of the case explained by Respondent No.2, the Appellant is advised to pursue his grievance before the appropriate forum.
The appeal is dismissed accordingly.
Citation: Javed Talat v. Central Vigilance Commission and Ministry of External Affairs, File No : CIC/CVCOM/A/2022/108628, Date of Decision : 07/02/2023