Passport offices should announce the reasons for delay in their website
The appellant had filed a passport application and on not receiving the passport even after five months he filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Regional Passport Office (RPO), seeking to know the reasons for the delay. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed him that his case was complicated and that the delay occurred because of the system being run by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). On the directions of the First Appellate Authority (FAA), the PIO provided the photocopy of the entire passport application file to the applicant.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) noted that the copy of the entire file has been sent to the appellant and no other information needs to be disclosed. The CIC however held that in all such cases of delay, the applicants for passports must have some way to know why their applications have not been processed fast enough. The Commission also ruled that since the passport issuing mechanism has been changed from manual to the electronic, it should be much easier for the citizens to get the passports faster and without the involvement of any human agency. The Commission observed that in all the cases of delay, the applicants are likely to resort to RTI to find out the reasons. It would be better for the passport offices to announce the reasons for delay in their website on a case to case basis and from time to time, to keep the applicants informed.
Citation: Mr. Kunal Behl v. Regional Passport Office and Ministry of External Affairs in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/901331
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1219
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission