Government employees under suspension or granted sanction of prosecution over corruption charges will not be able to get a passport, according to an official order. The move follows a review of the existing guidelines by the Personnel Ministry, in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
It is required to check the vigilance clearance of such government servants for grant of passport, said the order issued by the Personnel Ministry to secretaries of all central government departments.
Accordingly, it has been decided that vigilance clearance can be withheld if an officer is under suspension or a charge sheet has been filed in a court by the investigating agency in a criminal case, it said.
The vigilance clearance for obtaining a passport can also be denied to employees after a grant of sanction by the competent authority under the Prevention of Corruption Act or any other criminal matter and taken cognizance of by a court of law, the order added.
All departments have been asked to check as to whether any provision of section 6(2) of the Passport Act, 1967 is attracted in case of employees who are working under them while obtaining an Indian passport.
The section allows authorities to refuse passports to an applicant if his/her presence outside India may prejudice the friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or if the central government is of the opinion that the issue of travel document to the applicant will not be in the public interest, among others.
Passports can also be refused in case a warrant or summons for appearance or a warrant for the arrest of the applicant has been issued by a court under any law for the time being in force or that an order prohibiting the departure from India of the applicant has been made by any such court, according to the Act.