The centre has decided that any government officials facing investigation or prosecution for corruption charges will not be given clearance needed for a passport. According to reports, any government official who has an FIR registered against him/her by a government entity after preliminary inquiry will also not be given clearance for a passport.
According to the revised guidelines of the ministry of personnel, such government officials will not be given the vigilance clearance needed for grant of a passport. However, according to reports, the concerned authorities can take a call if the circumstances are extremely urgent (like medical emergencies) for the officer to travel abroad.
The vigilance clearance will also be withheld if the concerned officer is under suspension or been involved in a trap/raid case under charges of corruption and investigations are pending, if the concerned officer has been named in a charge sheet filed by a government agency in any criminal case. It will also apply if a sanction of investigation/prosecution against the person has been granted by the relevant authority under Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to reports, the norms for denial of vigilance clearance for officials existed before for pending criminal proceedings. It has now been extended to include corruption/graft cases too under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In cases where the FIR against the official has been filed on a private complaint, a charge sheet must have been filed by a government entity and there should be no directions to the contrary by a court of law for denial of vigilance clearance. However, the new guidelines also mention that information regarding FIR based on private complaints may be provided to the passport authorities and the issuing authorities may take the final decision on the issue of passport accordingly.