September 30, 2022

KNOW ABOUT INDIAN PASSPORT

A document issued by the competent authority which enables a person to travel internationally e.g. Passport, an emergency certificate issued by one’s embassy, refugee document, etc. is known as Travel Document.  A passport is the most promising travel document which is issued by the foreign department of any country.

Introduction

A document issued by the competent authority which enables a person to travel internationally e.g. Passport, an emergency certificate issued by one’s embassy, refugee document, etc. is known as Travel Document.  A passport is the most promising travel document which is issued by the foreign department of any country.

The Indian passport is issued to Indians as per the Indian Passport Act 1967 and Passport Rule 1980. Section (3) Indian Passport Act mandates that “No person shall depart from, or attempt to depart from India unless he holds in this behalf a valid passport or travel document.”

According to Section 4, There are three classes of an Indian passport: Diplomatic, Official, and Ordinary passport. It has a validity of 10 years and could be renewed after expiration.


Types of passports and travel documents

(1) The following classes of passports may be issued under this Act, namely: –

  • (a) ordinary passport;
  • (b) official passport;
  • (c) diplomatic passport

(2) The following classes of travel documents may be issued under this Act, namely: –

  • (a) emergency certificate authorizing a person to enter India;
  • (b) certificate of identity for the purpose of establishing the identity of the person;
  • (c) such other certificate or document as may be prescribed.

(3) The Central Government shall, in consonance with the usage and practice
followed by it in this behalf, prescribe the classes of persons to whom the classes of
passports and travel documents referred to respectively in sub-section (1) and subsection (2) may be issued under this Act.


The Henley Passport Index

India has been ranked 87th in the most powerful passport report ‘Henley Passport Index’ as on July 2022. The Henley Passport Index is the original, authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. 

Legal provisions related to Passport

A passport is a very crucial document from the sovereignty point of view as it can only be held by the citizen of the country issuing it. In layman’s language, it is the proof of one’s nationality, and hence to avoid any kind of forgery, it includes certain security features, both, visual and UV reactive. An international organization namely ICAO, which was set up under Chicago Convention 1944 to serve as a critical coordination platform in civil aviation laid down the security standards for the Passport. Various laws relating to the Indian Passport are as under:

  • Section (10) Variation, impounding Revocation of Passport
  • Section 12(B) alters/Attempts to alter or knowingly furnish any false information
  • Section 12(D) Forgery-Punishable with imprisonment for a term from one year to five years and with fine from ten thousand rupees to fifty thousand rupees.

Power to Arrest

Section 13 Indian Passport Act 1967

(1) Any officer of customs empowered by a general or special order of the Central
Government in this behalf and any 10[officer of police or emigration officer] not below
the rank of a sub-inspector may arrest without warrant any person against whom a
reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed any offense punishable under
section 12 and shall, as soon as may be, inform him of the grounds for such arrest.


(2) Every officer making an arrest under this section shall, without unnecessary
delay, take or send the person arrested before a magistrate having jurisdiction in the
case or to the officer in charge of the nearest police station and the provisions of
11[section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)] shall, so far as
maybe, apply in the case of any such arrest.

Power of search and seizure

Section 14 Indian Passport Act 1967

(1) Any officer of customs empowered by a general or special order of the Central
Government in this behalf and any 10[officer of police or emigration officer] not below
the rank of a sub-inspector may search any place and seize any passport or travel
document from any person against whom a reasonable suspicion exists that he has
committed any offense punishable under section 12.


(2) The provisions of the 12[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)]
relating to searches and seizures shall, so far as may be, Apply to searches and
seizures under this section.

Protection of action taken in good faith

Section 16 Indian Passport Act 1967

No suit, prosecution or other, legal proceeding shall lie against the Government or
any officer or authority for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be
done tinder this Act.

Applying for Passport

The task of granting the Indian passport is entrusted to The Ministry of External Affairs of India. The Passport Seva Programme (PSP) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, provides passport services through the Central Passport Organization (CPO) and its network of Passport Offices, Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs); and Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs). Consular, Passport and Visa services to overseas Indians/Foreign nationals are provided by the PSP Division through the Indian Missions and Posts abroad.

The passport can be applied online at: https://www.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLinkE-Passport

Surrender of the Indian passport

As India does not allow dual citizenship, it is mandatory for all Indian passport holders to surrender their passports to the nearest Indian Mission/Post immediately after acquisition of foreign nationality. Misuse of Indian passports constitutes an offense under Section 12(1A) of the Passports Act 1967.

One can seek a surrender certificate through PSP Division through online and offline mode. The online link is as below:

https://www.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/procFormSc