We are not bound to give your passport in the 45-day period, says India’s Chief Passport Officer

While TCS plays hard to get, the Chief Passport Officer calls up on his own to say that vested interests are tarnishing the Pune’s Passport Office’s good image and that the 45-day period for receiving the passport is just a “service level benchmark”

While the malady of inordinate delays and harassment in getting passports, after applying at the Regional Passport Office, Pune, has led to our forming the Pune Passport Grievance Forum (PPGF), India’s Chief Passport Officer, Muktesh Pardeshi gives a clean chit to the Pune Passport Office. Officials of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which is in a public-private-partnership (PPP) venture with the ministry of external affairs for the Passport project, do not come out in the open.
While the ministry of external affairs’ website clearly states that a citizen would get his or her passport in 45 days and in fact, three days as stated by TCS after it got into the PPP venture in 2008, Pardeshi explains, “issuing a passport is a service provided by the government to the people. The 45-day period for getting your passport is a “service level benchmark” and we are not bound by it. We can give you the passport even in 21 days or it could take six months in cases where police verification has not come to us in time. The government has the right to give you the passport or reject it.”
Terming that “vested interests” are trying to tarnish the image of the otherwise “good input-output record” of the Pune Passport Office which has no pending cases of passport issuance except for those that are still under process, Pardeshi puts the onus on citizens to seek help from various complaint and legal forums.
Staunchly denying that passport applicants in the Regional Passport Office, Pune are facing any inconveniences, he suggested, “Citizens who have any complaints should address them at the online Public Grievance Cell. We see the complaints everyday and we will address the issue.”  He also advocated that aggrieved citizens should call up the call centre. When I told him that phone calls are not answered or they are not appropriately addressed, he denied that this could happen.
When told that many passport applicants are made to run from pillar to post between the Passport Office and police stations with both offices passing the buck on the other, Pardeshi states that since digitalization has not been introduced in states like Maharashtra, receipt of the manual records from the police takes time. “Why don’t you ask the police?” he suggested.
When this writer contacted the TCS media cell through an email on 3rd February, a representative called up on 4th February morning stating that only the Passport Officer or the Assistant Passport Officer can help me. When I insisted that I need to talk to the Pune head of the TCS Passport Seva Kendra, she said, “He cannot help you. It is no use talking to him. It is the government which issues the passport and not TCS so only the RPO or ARPO can help you and I will ask them to talk to you.” When I insisted that I would like to talk to the national head of the Passport Division project of TCS, she at the end of the day replied by SMS, “He is currently traveling overseas and will get the call fixed in the next 2 days.” 
While I was left wondering as to why the TCS representative was dodging my request to merely talk to the concerned official, around 1.40pm I got a call from the Chief Passport Office, Delhi, stating that Muktesh Pardeshi, the chief passport officer, would like to talk to me. I was surprised that a Chief Passport Officer, who is at the level of a joint secretary in the ministry of external affairs, should be subservient enough to voluntarily give clarification to a stranger at the alleged behest of the TCS which wants to hide behind the scene. When at the end of the conversation I told him that what he said would be all published, he stated, “you never told me you are a journalist, you only said you are a RTI activist.” I insisted I did tell him I am a journalist first, he declined and then quickly added, “I will look into the matter.”
Pardeshi went on an offensive against all my queries of the mess in the Passport Office, Pune. He insisted that the Pune Passport Office has an impeccable record and it is those applicants who may have bad police records or the police which is not sending verifications in time are facing problems. I broached the topic of RTI applications being rejected by the Pune Passport Office if cash is paid as fees or with the promise, “wait for 10 days, your passport is being processed so don’t file a RTI and days turn into months with the passport not being given.” Pardeshi denied that this could happen and stated, “it is every citizen’s right to invoke RTI. If there are any problems, I am the appellate authority, so they can appeal to me.”  
Pardeshi has assured, “if you give me specific file numbers of citizens who have not received their passports, please feel free to email me at [email protected]. I assure action within 48 hours. I am a very upright officer and work 14 hours a day and it is our duty to provide passports to citizens.”  
Dear Mr Pardeshi, I do not dispute your honesty or hard work, but wonder why you should go out of your way to protect your private partnership agency, which has the responsibility of being answerable to the public.
In the meanwhile, after the following story on 1st February in Moneylife: Inordinate delays at Pune Passport office; RTI applications rejected, young architect Sachin Bhasme, whose passport has been stuck for over four months, received calls from the police as well as TCS officials. He was assured that he would receive his passport within 8-10 days


The Pune Passport Grievance Forum will hold its first citizen meeting on Saturday, 9 February 2013, at 11am at the Indradhanushya Hall, off Mhatre Bridge, in front of Sachin Tendulkar Jogging Park. Passport applicants who have grievances are welcome to attend the meeting. For more details call: Vinita Deshmukh: 98230 36663, Vijay Kumbhar: 99232 99199; Sandeep Khardekar: 98230 52596


Aggrieved passport applicants please feel free to complaint to:




If you have any complaints regarding the Issuance of Passports and suggestions for the improvement (if any), please contact Respective Regional Passport Officer. If not satisfied with the service, you can write/ Telephone/ Fax to the Officers.



Joint Secretary (PSP) & Chief Passport Officer,

Ministry of External Affairs,

Room No. 8, 1st Floor, Patiala House Annexe, New Delhi-110001

Tel:             91-11-23384519, 23384497,Fax:23384461
Email: [email protected]



Assistant Passport Officer(Public Grievances)

Tel:             91-11-23384519, 23384497 Fax:23384461
Email:[email protected]



Please mention your File Reference Number, Date of Birth and Year Of Application and your RPO/PO in the subjectline while sending us your complaint/grievances through e-mail. Please note that this is compulsory.

Other stories from Vinita Deshmukh


(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)



8 years ago
My DIL went to the PP office at Mundhwa, Pune, to get her PP renewed. As Proof of Address, she provided my electricity bill. It was rejected on the ridiculous basis that the name on the electricity bill should be hers. She showed them the marriage certificate which says that she is married to my son. She provided a copy of my son's PP which clearly shows my address as his residence. It is therefore logical that she will reside with her husband and that the husband's address becomes her address. Electricity bills are not provided in the names of each family member residing at a place.

The 2nd time they told her to get her name on her bank passbook changed to her married name. They were not prepared to explain why. She has a small kid; my son is in the merchant navy and is sailing; I am a senior citizen. So she has to carry her 1 yr old child to the PP office and they are so insensitive. She has been there thrice and each time a different reason has been given for rejecting her application. What do you advise?
Paul Davidson
9 years ago
Great article. Thanks for the info, you made it easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a Indian passport application, I found a blank form here http://goo.gl/MRnxtB. This site PDFfiller also has some tutorials how to fill it out and a few related forms that you might find useful.
10 years ago
my passport status..
report submitted by sp.. printing is initiated.. flowed by lamination..bla bla..bla...

ok.. this stage is from last month..
thay have no book to print.. ha.ha.ha...haaaa..

i have paid for all this to this gov right.. bloody buy a book.. cant you...

this cant happen coz of.. this..
after showing all document on police verification.. and the cop said kuch chai pani to karo... i gave him a sweet smile and said thank you.. for asking...
haha ah... lovey day it was..
raj pal singh
10 years ago
Dear sirs
I summit my application for passport on 13th May now 50 days has been completed police repot also has been submitted I not received my passport am chking status on line since one month status has not been change.am worried for passport because I came on vacation from abroad if not get passport may I lose my job am working in cameroon as director. Pl reply will we highly appreciated
1 decade ago
Reissue of passport(same address) : I was given a GRANTED status on 14th at PSK LOWER PAREL MUMBAI. police clearance completed on 22 october. gave all documents asked for electricity bill affidavit from father in law rent receipts bank passbook school leaving certificate .all documents they asked for i had them and showed it at every stage. i haven't received my passport , does 45 days mean (working days ) . my grievance is due to the fact that at the C COUNTER PSK OFFICE the lady informed that i will get the passport in 8-10 working days. i even requested to upgrade to a TATKAL but i was informed by the gentleman that i dont need it for reissue as the passport will be given quickly , Iv raised a grievance and request on line , what should be my time frame to follow up considering the 8-10 days as informed by the c section at PSK. but now readin this article 45 days is the time frame. can you throw some light on this issue. Your articles are a great help especially for many citizens who are clue less of what steps to take. email [email protected].
1 decade ago
I applied online and got the submission of the documents at the Andheri, Bombay PSK on around 20th May, 2013. Two days back, i.e. three months later, the cop finally came to my place and gave me today's date for the police verification at the police station.

I have been advised by elders and friends to not be foolish and pay the cops a couple hundred rupees if I don't want any hassles with the verification. I am not sure if it's my ego, stubbornness, rebellion or what, but I feel the urge to NOT PAY a single paisa to these guys.

Very interesting article, and I hope the next couple hours will go well at the police station.
Danny Boy
Replied to LenindC comment 1 decade ago
LenindC, don't pay. I chose to suffer for 3 months, but did not pay any bribe. If we don't rebel, if we don't revolt, if we don't stand up to our conviction, then who will?
Danny Boy
1 decade ago
Same at Thane. I applied for re-issue of passport on 3rd April 2013. I got the passport on 4th July 2013 i.e. after 3 months. I went directly without engaging an agent. I am told that if you go via an agent, you have to pay Rs. 3000 which is distributed as follows: Rs. 1500 for the passport renewal fee; Rs. 500 each to the passport officer, the policeman and the agent. If you do this, you will get the passport in 1 month. Otherwise, like me, you will have to wait for 3 months and will be called to the Police Station six times.
R S Murthy
1 decade ago
India's Chief Passport Officer can be little more courteous in his remarks. His remark that issuing a passport is a service extended by the Governmemnt is not correct and acceptable. It is the duty of the Government to issue a passport to its citizens on application if found eligible.
If any one is not found eligible the grounds on wich he/she was found ineligble should be communicated. No absolute authority is vested in the Issuing authority to grant as per wims and fancies.
No authority can take undue long period to decide on the application. Even Police authorities have to complete investigation within the stipulated period and submit their report.
Every citizen has a right to apply for a passport and obtain the same and the Government is bound to issue if not found ineligible.
Manik HIra
1 decade ago
I went to the Passport office in Kollam to get a new booklet for my passport. Without appointment. They were kind enough to tell me that all applications were online and directed me to a booth in their office where I did the needful. I needed photocopies of the passport which I was able to take at the Photocopying machine there. The whole process took about 80 minutes and I received my passport 2 days Later.
I reckon that is First class service !
1 decade ago
I had a good & pleasant experience at Passport Seva Kendra, Pune.Recently I had submitted my application for Reissue of passport. After submitting online application, I got appointment for 2nd Feb. To my Surprise, once I went in to PSK, Pune-Entire process was completed within 30 minutes. I am happy and satisfied with these changes at passport office, Pune.Keep this service level. I have checked status-Passport printed and ready for dispatch. Great work TCS and MEA. Keep it up!!!!! Only issue is getting appointment after submitting online application-That needs to be addressed by some alternate method.
Vinita Deshmukh
Replied to Avinash comment 1 decade ago
I am happy that you had a good experience and we want the same for all applicants who apply for their passport. Getting the appointment after submitting online application is allegedly the key area where alleged corruption takes place and many applicants have to wait for several weeks or months to get an appointment. In how many days did you get the appointment by the way? Before you praise TCS and MEA for their excellent job, it would be a good idea to think beyond yourself and feel for the hundreds of passport applicants who are being harassed. Pl let me know your thoughts on the gruelling online application method which a global company like TCS which is also into IT has not been able to solve this problem of technology despite being in partnership with the ministry of external affairs since 2008. Is that strange or not? Particularly when they are in a tie up to ease the process.
Replied to Vinita Deshmukh comment 1 decade ago
I agree with you that all law abiding citizens should get the PP on time and without hassles. However, I had a pleasant experience recently when I had to get a new PP because my PP did not have blank pages for visa stamping. I got my PP after one working day (excluding the day of appointment with PP). Only Problem I faced was having the appointment time on my application acknowledgement. I had saved the application before taking the appointment with the result that appointment time was missing when I took the printout of saved file. I could get another printout after I realized my mistake when I went to PP office. Thank God I was early at PP office and could locate an internet cafe to take new printout.
There should be a system of electronic Police verification so that time and harrassment/corruption if any at police station can be avoided. Minimum required personal interaction with govt. authorities should be the norm for PP issuance.
Vinay Joshi
1 decade ago

Congrats on launching PPGF.

I'm suggesting, immediately file RTI, to ascertain the delinquency of the concerned officials & the various reasons for delay[s].

Points ---

1] How many applications recd in last 6 mnths?

2] How many cleared?

3] Reason for non clearance of every application to avail passport.

4] What steps initiated by the PP'office & re delinquency on the part of TCS personnel, it's software, if any.

5] What redressal procedure was there to the aggrieved applicants? Redressal records/ data.

6] The name of the concerned officers & their designation.

7] The 'service level' benchmark is 'not' a service!

8] Straight away write to Bombay House, kind Attn : Mr Cyrus Mistry. [I'm telling you TCS outsourcing personnel at fault.]

9] At the same time we should also consider 'thorough' checks as mandated irrespective of the delay.NO COMPROMISE.

10] As Mr.Pardesi has assured you, give him the file nos & also further RTI info got & post the results in this forum.

Vinita Deshmukh
Replied to Vinay Joshi comment 1 decade ago
Tks for this suggestion. Will speak to my colleague and leading RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar and file the needful. We were to do this early next week. Tks!
Vinay Joshi
Replied to Vinita Deshmukh comment 1 decade ago

Thnx. Do not delve at my point no 8 w/o concrete evidence, RTI is not an factor.

TCS from 400mn to 6bn & the VC,Mr. S.Ramadorai is world recognised a person. More than Min.Ex.Aff. Salman Khursid & MEA.

S/W glitches can always be there, even in US Passport Office has happened apart from NASDAQ or NSE in India.

Irrespective, w/o compromising on antecedents verification system, issuance of passports in genuine cases should not be delayed.

RATHER I WANT YOU TO PURSUE RTI for daily updation of the applicant STATUS, highlighting deficiency / delay as the case may be. IMP.

This can go a long way rather than rather than perusing default applications.


1 decade ago
First thing that these Babus need to learn is HUMILITY. They reek of arrogance and believe that merely doing their duty amounts to doing a favour to the citizens.
choksi R
1 decade ago

I wish to share my experience of passport office in Mumbai.

I had to renew my minor son's passport. I opted to do it on my own without the help of any middlemen. I applied online under 'normal' not tatkal, submitted the form and took an appointment which was at Lower Parel. Before going there, I had checked several times for the documents required to be submitted. The website http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlinePro..., after entering required and related information and the website showed me that I require only two documents, viz code 8017 - old passport in original with self attested copy and code 8067 - Annexure H.

Accordingly I went for the appointment. While waiting in the queue I once again inquired for the documents required for minor, with the person at the desk of another queue. She too confirmed as per the website. When my turn came, I was asked to produce Parents' passport photocopies. I protested saying it was not mentioned on their website. The person accepted that it is not shown on the website but it is required. I approached the Passport officer and explained that if it is not mentioned on the website and not intimated to the applicant in advance it cannot be demanded. He was most non co-operative and said that I must lodge a complaint at the Prabhadevi office but he cannot waive these documents. Luckily, I had anticipated such a move from them and was carrying the photocopies and submitted it.

Whereas another father and a minor girl had to go back as they had not brought these documents which were not shown as required on the website.

Though, I must add that I received my passport in just 7 days of the appointment.
Urvish Chitalia
1 decade ago

I had an interesting interaction with the TCS Passport Seva Kendra at Malad (East), Mumbai. I shifted to a new home around 5 months ago after staying at my old house for 27 years. Immediately after shifting, I went to the Passport Seva Kendra to update the passports of all family members with the new address. The TCS staff at the Passport Seva Kendra refused to accept the application and replied that they need copies of electricity/landline telephone bills dated a year ago for the new home. SInce mine was a new apartment block, I obviously did not have them. The Passport Seva Kendra people then told my sister that your family members already have passports and he does not understand the reason for the address update. He told us not to bother about it.
This raises an interesting question. In case we sold the old house (which we haven't yet) and the passport Seva Kendra refuses to update the passport with the new address, we would end up with passports showing wrong permanent address without any fault of ours.

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