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Govt Tightens Noose On Corrupt Bureaucrats, To Deny Passports To Officers Facing Charges

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
1911
| March 30 , 2018 , 13:19 IST

The Personnel Ministry, in an order issued to secretaries of all central government departments, has said that government officers facing criminal or corruption charges are to be denied vigilance clearance for the granting of passport.

The guidelines, quoted by media on Thursday state that vigilance clearance can be withheld if an officer is facing charges of corruption and investigation is pending; if an FIR has been filed or a case registered against the officer by any government entity after a fact-finding inquiry and if the officer is under suspension.

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The vigilance clearance would also be denied if "a charge sheet has already been filed in court by the investigating agency in a criminal case and the case is pending; if a sanction for investigation or prosecution has been granted by the competent authority in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act or any other criminal matter, and a charge sheet has been issued against the officer in a disciplinary proceeding and the proceeding is pending," the guidelines said.

However, exceptions can be made by the concerned authorities if such officers need foreign travel in extremely urgent situations such as in medical emergencies.

"There may be situations wherein wards and relatives of the civil servants residing abroad (for education and other purposes) could be having medical emergencies or family events. The officer himself/ herself may require to visit abroad for medical reasons," said the statement.

"Therefore, as a policy, ordinarily, a passport will not be granted if a disciplinary proceeding is pending against the officer. However, the competent authority can take a view wherein a foreign travel is necessitated due to extreme urgent situation like medical emergencies etc. on case to case basis," the ministry said in the order.