The Centre today told the Delhi High Court that fake documents submitted during passport process of verification may sometimes escape attention of officers, but confirming authenticity of each and every document would make the process of issuing passports “cumbersome”.
Confirming authenticity of each document given by an applicant would also “amount to gross mistrust of the citizens by the government”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw.
The submissions were made in an affidavit filed by MEA in response to a PIL alleging that passports were being issued to people who are not living at the addresses given by them in their applications.
However, arguments in the PIL could not be heard as the court’s file was found to be missing at the time of hearing and the matter was listed on July 8.
The government in its affidavit has also said that it had in 2014 issued one crore passports of which those issued to non-Indians or citizens who gave false information are a “microscopic minority”.
It has also said “all necessary and feasible measures have been incorporated to ensure the security and authenticity of passports issued and the process is constantly being improved”.
It said that under the new Passport Sewa Model, launched in 2012, applicants have to appear in person before the passport office and their biometric data is also obtained.
“The system in the wake of the passport sewa is robust and effective and requires full and faithful implementation by all government agencies concerned,” MEA has said.
Earlier, Delhi Police had admitted that passports have been issued on fake and non-existent addresses due to “bogus” verification by policemen against whom action has been taken.