Friday, September 4, 2009

How to apply for Tatkal Passport

Thanks to the responses for the previous post on how not to apply for tatkal passport. This time it is the other way. As you know, I found it is not good to struggle at Chennai for passport because filing RTI and meeting RPO appeared a difficult task. So I filled another online form to Trivandrum passport office. All the documents I hold contain same address, my home address. I expected similar behavior of standing in the queue from morning, though my time was written 2PM. But the security told me, online application processing is done only in afternoon. In between I came to know that there is a yellow file which we have to buy and the shops opposite to passport office will arrange everything in the yellow file so that I can submit the application directly. For my case, even they were confused. I am staying at Chennai and applying at Trivandrum. I filled two extra forms for Police verification, one set for native and one set for Chennai.
At 2 I went upstairs of passport office. It was not long queue as that of Chennai. But apparently when I reached in front of the queue, it was 4.15. The madam who verified the documents told me, "the certificate from an institute is more valid than even a declaration in front of notary or other proofs for identity, and you are holding institute identity card, so we will issue the passport. Please get signature from Senior Passport Officer (SPO).

Lol . Another queue and I met SPO at 4.45. He simply said "you are hiding the details that you are staying at Chennai". I said "of course not. I have submitted the letter from warden that I am residing at so and so hostel and so and so number for past 1.5 years". He said "then you apply through Chennai passport office". I felt "oh god, the same old story of Shankar" ( For non mallus, we use the term "shankar again on coconut tree" to express that after so many struggle to change situation it remains same or went back to its old state). I said "sir, it is not possible; I am native of Trivandrum, I do not have magical 3 address proof at Chennai". Then he says "then you are not eligible for tatkal passport. You come with signature of Rural SP of Trivandrum and Chennai SP, I will issue a passport". I said in mind, "oh If I could get one signature from Chennai, Chennai passport office will give passport. Now it is two". He wrote "normal " on the application file, means accept the application as normal.
I came out, then spoke to the madam who verified the document and I was bit confused. I do not know if I have to get prior appointment for meeting RPO or so. Then She told, "no need son, anyway you came up to here, you just get in to his room and tell the problem. We will see". That was a great relief to me. Kind of an angel from nowhere. When I met RPO it was 5PM. Straight away I said "Sir, I am a student of IITM. I could not apply for Tatkal passport from Chennai because I do not have three address proofs. I have gone through entire passport act and the web site. It says I can apply from my native also. But that gentleman is telling that I am not eligible. Please tell me why I am not eligible, sir". He looked at me, then took the application and gone through all the documents and said "who told you that you are not eligible; you are eligible. But you need a notary declaration from Trivandrum; not from chennai." I said "Sir, the documents says notary certificate in your region. So I thought it was at the jurisdiction I am staying." He said, "no it is the jurisdiction of this passport office. You can come any time tomorrow, meet me, I will approve the application, by producing the new notary form". I said "Sir, please write it over the file, currently it is written normal". He did that. I left the office with joy.
The next day I found a notary. At Chennai, I spent 250 Rs. for it for a declaration on non judicial stamp paper of 20 Rs. and notary stamp of 10Rs. In Trivandrum the rule is to have paper of 50Rs, with notary stamp of 50RS., notary fees of 150 and typing charge 50. Total 300Rs. I was not in surprise this time. If ID proof can change to address proof, this is a minor change. More funny part was the way in which the notary made me sign the bill. He wrote everything except the bill amount, and asked me to sign. We both know in mind that it is just formality. Then he wrote something in the bill and kept it and asked me 150Rs. I was laughing in mind. The standard rate for a notary is only 15Rs.( If you want to verify please visit and search for affidavit) which I know. But why my face was pleasant, that fool will never understand.
Anyway I got the passport application approved and in two days I received the passport.
If you think the story is over, I should say no. Two weeks back police verification came at home. Policeman asked to see me with all the documents I have submitted. I never understood why. My current address is at Chennai. They are supposed to verify only that my permanent address is correct. When I was going, my seniors and other people told, give him money. I said "let me see". I went and met the police officer. He verified all the documents, and address proof. Then asked "what should I write for the question is this person staying at this address for past one year". I said, "write that I am at IIT Chennai, staying at so and so address and under so and so police station". He said ok and I left.

So, that was the story of my tatkal passport. Your comments are welcome

There was a point raised by my friend. She told "warden's letter is not a valid address proof for tatkal". I should say that "address proof for a passport application is same irrespective of tatkal or normal and for students, that is the best thing available".
Another valuable information is that "I can get an address proof by paying Rs. 250 to our post office". Thanks to the person who suggested it.

"Both cat and mouse know what is happening in the game. Cat think he is strong and he is better. Mouse knows that cat thinks so. Mouse also knows that cat is afraid of dogs. So does cat in front of dogs......"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How (not) to apply for Tatkal Passport- Part1

By this time I am confident enough to write many how(not) tos'. As I have written about how not to complain when AC is not working, this is second one in that series.
Here is the story.
I wanted to take a tatkal passport. I went to passport-gov-india website. Nice work. They have given information on everything you need to apply. Also an online application submission, which gives me time and date at which I have to be present in passport office for document verification. WowWWWWWWWWWWWWW !!!! That was my first impression.
The tatkal scheme page says "The applicant also has the option to obtain a passport under Tatkal Scheme on submission of three documents from the Fourteen documents as mentioned below" . I have 4
  1. Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC)
  2. Income Tax Identity (PAN) Cards
  3. Student Identity Cards issued by Recognized Educational Institutions
  4. Driving Licenses
So I filled the online form. Got the appointment with date and time. Went to notary to get a notary-affidavit.
Then in the passport faq , question 13 "I am a student staying away from my parents. Where do I apply for passport and what proof of residence shall I have to furnish?" answer is "In case you are studying and staying in Bangalore , you can either apply to the Passport Office Bangalore or in the Passport Office in whose jurisdiction your parents’ address (permanent address) "
Documents in support of student are bonafide certificate from institute and warden's letter as proof of residence.
My seniors told me, please go early at around 8 at passport office, there is tatkal line and stand there. I went and stood there. By that time there were at least 40 people in front of me.
One girl tried to directly enter in to line's front, we protested. She was smart, the sweeper there managed to get her to the front of the row in the C,D,E,F counters there. (Oh my god, even the sweeper there is wonderful)
It took3 hours of standing to reach in front of the line. By the time I learned that there is an order in which the documents to be arranged which was not there in F**Q. And I submitted the application.
The passport officer saw my degree certificate "Kerala University", then he looked for identity proof, he simply said "get signature from some one who is in rank of under secratary". I asked "why not the option B?" . "Oh option B requires LOCAL address proof, 1 year LOCAL bank account statements, water bill, phone bill, electricity bill... long list of bills. I had print out of the F*Q and all, but he left his chair and so many waiting.
I am using core banking. So how will it give local address proof?
I have PAN card, where did it mention an address?
I have Voter ID which is taken at my native place.
I have driving licence, which is from Kerala.
Why should I have phone
I left the office at 11.15 with mission that can I get "UNDER"secratary signature.. As per my knowledge, there is no one I can directly call. I tried my friends. But why their bosses should sign a statement that (s)he knows me and there is no problem in issuing the passport.
No one including the professors could help me ( If it is project implementation or some VIP visit at department, I have seen the enthusiasm in their faces. Same I did not see in any of the professors for finding a VIP for me. Great!!!!)
Got no from my friends also. I am of my own!!!
The passport act clearly differentiate LOCAL with normal.
Where does PAN card says address?
I mailed Regional Passport Officer chennai, after going through entire passport act, for clarification of the magic behind "Identity proof to LOCAL address proof". As expected, no reply.
"Indian online appointment is still a myth" and "rules can change beyond the understanding and expectations of common man"

So, I decided to try it in native, because rules "says" I can get it from native.
To be continued in next post, part 2.