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A Passport is an official document issued by the government that allows you to travel1 internationally, and serves as a proof of identification.1 The Ministry of External Affairs issues Passports through the Central Passport Organisation (CPO) and you will be able to apply for a passport by approaching Passport Offices, Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) and Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) in India.
There are three kinds of Passports: ordinary, official and diplomatic.2 In this section, only ordinary Passports will be covered, for which only Indian nationals are eligible. Please note that you can hold only one Passport at a time.3
Precautions to be taken in Relation to a Passport:6
- You must not send a Passport out of any country by post.
- You should not let anyone who is not authorized to use the Passport possess it.
- You are personally responsible for its safety, so if it is damaged or lost, you must immediately report it to the nearest Passport authority, or the nearest Indian Mission or Post and to the local police, if you are abroad.
- You must not alter your Passport in any way, without authorization of the relevant official(s).
- If your children’s particulars are included in your Passport, they must not travel alone.
- A child, whose particulars are included in his guardian’s Passport, must apply for a separate one on turning 15 years of age.
If you violate these provisions, you can be punished with jail time between 3 months and 2 years and/or a fine between Rs. 500 and Rs. 5,000, on the first offence, and with double the penalty on subsequent offence.7 For example, if you allow someone to use your passport, the first you will be jailed for 2 years and/or fined Rs. 5,000, and if you do it again, you will be jailed for 4 years and/or be fined Rs. 10,000.
Penalties in Relation to a Passport
If you do any of the following, you can be punished with jail time between 1 and 5 years and a fine between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 50,0008:
- You travel internationally without a valid Passport or travel documents
- You provide false information and do not disclose information, in order to get a Passport
- You do not provide your Passport for inspection to relevant authorities (i.e. any Passport authority, any police officer above and equal to the rank of Sub-Inspector, and any officer empowered by the Central Government in relation to this)
- You use a Passport or travel documents that belongs to another person
- You allow another person to use your Passport or travel documents
- You aid or help anyone in doing the points given above.
Read this government resource to know more1
- Section 3, Passports Act, 1967
- Section 4(1), Passports Act, 1967
- Rule 13, Passports Rules, 1980
- Rule 12(1A), Passports Rules, 1980
- Rule 12(2), Passports Rules, 1980
- Schedule V (Conditions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), Passports Rules, 1980
- Section 12, Passports Act, 1967
- Section 12(1), Passports Act, 1967