Passport impounded - a horror story happening

#1 Jan 30th, 2019, 02:50
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  • Tethys is offline
#1
First I would like to thank everyone reading this long story and providing answers/ideas on how to deal with something like this.

I am in my mid 20s and for the past 7 months me and my girlfriend (early 20s) have been living a horror story we only though exists in movies. In mid July 2018 my girlfriends passport got lost/stolen somewhere at Delhi airport on her way home to Mumbai. The purpose of her trip to Delhi was to collect Shengen work permit from the embassy that she has successfully received after finding a consulting job in the EU country where I reside. She was supposed to start her work by the end of July.

As soon as she realised her passport was missing she called Delhi police where she was advised to file an online report(FRI) and proceed to the PSK office in Mumbai. After submitting all the documents for new passport(adhaar card etc.) to PSK and after they were cleared she was granted a new passport on pre verification basis and told it should take 2-4 weeks to get a new passport.

Couple of days letter she received a phone call from a police guy from local police station that was in charge of verification to come to the police station. She submitted all the documents, explained the emergency to the police and was told that it should be fairly uncomplicated process. Police guy was supposed to visit her home for verification purposes.

After waiting for 2 weeks police guy finally comes to her home for verification asking her standard verification process questions. Her mum and neighbours are asked to verify her address (she has lived there for the past 12 years). The police guy said that it should take a week to get past additional SP verification and then passport should be cleared. 2 weeks later police guy calls that the passport was returned to him from SP office for some additional verification. Her company in the EU writes a letter explaining the urgency for her employment. It has been 1.5 months since passport got lost/stolen. Police guy now doesnt wat to give any time frame and we suspect him of wanting a bribe. Couple of days she visit the station again and he refutes wanting a bribe and says his boss has to sign off his work.

2 weeks later she visits the station again where she speaks to his boss - SR. inspector that reveals that some kind of fraud might have happened with her old passport and questions her again what was she doing in Delhi. He says that he has to get clerance form Delhi police as passport got lost/stolen there. It should take 2 weeks he says. 2 weeks later she tries to reach police guy to see if the process is complete. Police guy says that his boss is on the leave and that he will call when he comes back, another weeks passes.

We are now in the first week of November. after not hearing anything from police she suddenly gets a call from cop in Delhi who says is in charge of the verification process who asks her about the whole story again. Says he will look into it. Couple days later a cop in Mumbai calls to tell that his boss is back and she should call him in a week to come to the station. 2 weeks later she(and her family) again meet SR. inspector who has nothing. He says that the Delhi hasnt cleared anything yet and continues to tell how her old passport might got stolen by some "terror groups" and that it has to be cleared from Delhi but doesnt want to say anything specific. She has nothing in writting from anyone ever since visiting PSK in July even after requesting it. A week later she finally gets cop from Delhi on the phone who says that he has to check if there had been any complaint from anyone in Delhi against her passport and doesnt tell anything else
even after again explaining that this has been going on since July and that she has work abroad.

2 weeks later she gets a call from Mumbai cop that SP officer from Mumbai will visit her home for verification and questioning exactly on the day she plans to go to Delhi(to meet her employers from EU).She cancels important trip and no SP officer shows up at her place at all. After couple of days cop from Mumbai visits her home again and she is questioned again (she has probably told the story 5 times already). He now says that SP office in mumbai has to clear her, no time frame.

We are now in mid December (5 months after lost/stolen passport). She gets a call from a new police guy(from Crime branch) from Delhi that he will be visiting her home soon. He comes to her home and starts telling a story that her passport "might" have been misused by someone and that until they solve the case she will not get "approved" for new passport. He says it might take couple month to a year. He says that n if she gets passport she will be advised not to travel anywhere as the old passport "might have been misused". She still gets nothing in writting.

It is 3rd week of December and we are getting desperate. She hasnt done anything wrong yet noone tells us anything about the case anymore. She has nothing in writting and a police guy from Mumbai doesnt even answer the phone anymore. We plan on finding a lawyer and start a legal battle. Then all of a sudden she gets a letter from RPO explaining that the police have issued adverse report because she hasnt submitted all the documents!?! She calls RPO to check what documents she supposedly hasnt submitted. We are 2nd of January now and I(her boyfriend) come to Mumbai to spend new years eve with her and to help her finding a lawyer as her family doesnt want to do anything really and says she has to wait. We go to the RPO office where she speaks to officer there who says that her adverse report is no big deal and that she has submitted all the right documents and that she should get passport soon as there is nothing wrong with her application. She doesnt say anything about old passport misuse.

We are exstatic but worried at the same time. 2 days later she is holding a new passport in her hand and we buy a plane ticket to go to EU together. She has nothing about the whole supposed case of her passport misuse in writting. We get to Mumbai airport and check in without problems. We cross immigration without hassle and are standing in line for boarding the flight. Suddenly airline employes start calling her name and explain that there is some problem with her passport. Immigration officers come and say that something is wrong with her passport and that she is denied boarding. They do not give any reason and take away her passport and her to immigration office. I am forced to board the plane and leave her at the gate of our plane astounded by what just happened.

At the office she is told that her passport is suspended in the system. They cannot answer how she crossed immigration or how did she even get a new passport. They dont know the reason why passport is suspended or who suspended it. They say to report to the RPO where the passport will be. We investigate and found that by the India passport act RPO is the only authority that can suspend and take away your passport and that they have to give a specific reason why the passport was taken in 4 weeks.

She gets there and is told to speak to the chief passport officer. He checks the system and tells her that her passport is suspended but that RPO didnt do it. He says that there is nothing adverse according to their knowledge for her passport to be issued and that is why they issued it. He says that they dont know who suspended the passport(there might be some government agencies he says) and they dont know the reason why any of this is happening. She insists that they are only authority who can take her passport and that she wants everything in writting. RPO officer dismisses her and says they dont know who did it and that she cannot get anyhing in writting. She is told to come back in a month when they might have new information and that this thing might take 3 months to resolve.

She visited the lawyer who basically told her to wait and do nothing as not to anger any authorities?!? The lawyer is her familys friend.

It is the end of January now and I cannot believe that this story is happening to us in real life. We have nothing in writting from anyone and we are getting desperate. I can only thing of two reasons why this is happening to someone like her: Someone at the police/RPO did a massive muck up and is trying to cover it up or someone is actively preventing her from getting a passport(her parents). It seems unbelievable how noone wants to tell her anything or give her anything in writing. There are so many coincidences in irregularities in this whole story that it is hard to believe this might be a system problem and more to believe that someone is actively blocking her which would require massive connections. Any thoughts on where to even start?
#2 Jan 30th, 2019, 12:12
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#2
There can be multiple explanations to this, including the one you mention.
Though I may not be able to help you as to what next, there would be others here who would have more relevant guidance for you.
Have you considered that what the police may be saying could be true - that her passport may have been stolen and handed over to some scam/fraud/criminal group - due to which her name is now on the do not exit list. (if something like that actually exist) In anycase, someone should atleast be letting you know things - but I think they have already hinted or given you that information based on what you have written.
Her parents seem unlikely to have stolen it in the first place. They may have secondary reasons, which you may know better than us, to not let her go out. (like in cases where they do not approve the relationship). But I am not sure how they can get her passport suspended, unless they are hell bent on not letting her go.
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#3 Jan 30th, 2019, 14:19
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#3
Thank you for your reply. We have definetely considered what police was saying to be true, yet there are a couple of things that seem unlikely in this case:
- Why did police issue an adverse report saying she hasnt submitted all the documents?
- If there was an actual block on her, why did the RPO even issue her a passport?
- How did we cross the airline passport check and immigration at the airport if her name was on any kind of list?
- How can the RPO tell her they have no clue why or who issue the suspension if they are the only authority who can suspend her passport?

It seems unbelievable to us that RPO would mistakenly issue her a passport if her name would be on any list and even more unbelievable that she could pass immigration at the airport. According to the Passport act she has to be given a clear explanation why her passport was suspended as it can only be suspended under very strict circumstances and not without any written explanation at all. If she was personally under investigation (which police refused several times) shouldnt she be notified in writting?
#4 Jan 30th, 2019, 17:35
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  • zif is offline
#4
All we can do is speculate.

But if some government organisation suspects she may have somehow been involved herself in the disappearance of her passport, then it's not beyond belief that they would let her pass immigration in order to see whether she makes contact with anyone airside.

Otherwise, it's very hard to understand why a flag didn't go up when she passed immigration.
#5 Jan 30th, 2019, 20:30
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#5
My 2 paise:

Generally they don't make it such a big as has been made in OP's case unless they smell something fishy. Smelling fishy depends on various factors like changing statements, etc.

The case may be resolved by giving correct and factual statement. The OP may be asked to submit a written statement along with the supporting documents.
#6 Jan 30th, 2019, 20:58
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#6
The statements have been precise and factual since the beginning. She has submitted or showed all the evidence possible from the Shengen work permit, bank statements, phone bill, aadhar card, old passport notarised copies, offer letter from the company in the EU even written letter explaining her future work by the CEO of the company she was suppose to work for in the EU all proving her story. She even had all the copies with her when she was suppose to leave from Mumbai and showed all of it to the immigration authorities once she was denied boarding. The immigration officer at the airport literally said he has no idea why her passport got suspended.

Could a written letter describing what is happening with statement and all the documents to the High commissioner of police in Mumbai do us any good? She is just scared that involving High commissioner or the court will ag on the whole thing even longer...
#7 Jan 30th, 2019, 21:14
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#7
Better would be to visit SP of the area, and discuss the matter with him.

He/she could be of some help. Act accordingly.
#8 Jan 30th, 2019, 21:57
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#8
We do not know if your girlfriend or you have not done any wrongful act, and no one is aware of facts, so do not expect any clear answer or sympathies. In such cases, it is the authorities who hold first right of belief, no official goes to such extent without reasons.

Having said that, Passport is a fundamental right and citizen has to be given specific reason and there has to be a statutory order. If you think you have done nothing wrong and have been true with your statements and documents, then get a good lawyer immediately and go to court, you will get justice. Don't fear anything or anybody if you have done no wrong, as a citizen of this country, your girlfriend has her rights which no one can trample on, so all the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post She is just scared that involving High commissioner or the court will ag on the whole thing even longer...
You can wait and see how it goes but you will have to keep some time frame, you have no other option. If you both are law abiding citizens, you will at some point have to take a recourse to fight for your right, unfortunately, delays and time constraint become secondary in such situations and should not be a primary concern.
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#9 Feb 11th, 2019, 14:22
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#9
Thanks everyone for contributing. The past week has been especially hard for us as we have discovered what finally happened and what I have feared the most... The whole thing that has happened with her new passport has happened because of her parents(father). He has managed to get her passport suspended and prevent her from leaving India by contacting some person(the guy used to be very high in the police and local politics) and fabricating a story of how I want to lure her out of the country to use her and her being unable to decide about her own future. To be honest I cant believe how her dad was acting the whole time to make it look like it really is some kind of administrative problem, for months...He asked his contact for utmost secrecy as "my daughter not knowing about our involvement will be detrimental for our future relationship with her"

When she faced him by telling him she knows what he did, he continued lying for more than an hour before finally admitting that he had sent a message asking that guy to prevent her from leaving India by any means necessary. We have that message safely stored. Who should we contact if talking and being nice to her dad fails? Going to the police will probably have no use, seeing he probably can easily buy them off. I think he even payed off the RPO officers and some high level police official to make it look legit and for them to stall as long as possible. Going to court is an option as well as going to human rights commision. Would going to the SP of the area help her case?

This all reads like thrilling script for a tv series, if it wasn't happening to us in real life...
#10 Feb 11th, 2019, 19:10
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post
He has managed to get her passport suspended and prevent her from leaving India by contacting some person(the guy used to be very high in the police and local politics) and fabricating a story of how I want to lure her out of the country to use her and her being unable to decide about her own future.

Going to court is an option as well as going to human rights commision. Would going to the SP of the area help her case?

This all reads like thrilling script for a tv series, if it wasn't happening to us in real life...
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#11 Feb 11th, 2019, 19:44
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#11
Stay focused on what really counts: getting your girl friend out of India.

Don't get distracted with attempts at retribution or punishment. That would be a tremendous mistake.

Let your anger cool and you'll see the wisdom of this approach.
#12 Feb 12th, 2019, 01:54
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zif Stay focused on what really counts: getting your girl friend out of India.
I think he is focused on just that. Getting her passport and getting her out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post This all reads like thrilling script for a tv series, if it wasn't happening to us in real life...
It's amazing that such a complex thing could have been achieved, even here. And I don't envy you having a star role in that script.

How does one reach someone more powerful than the powerful people that guy has access to? I don't know if they could be of any assistance in a case like this, but there is a whole department that attempts to police the police --- and other errant government officials:

Central Vigilance Commission.
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#13 Feb 12th, 2019, 15:15
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#13
All the sympathies are good when we look at the story presented. But, remember that each story has got 2 sides. We are aware of only one side here. So even if you get suggestions based on that, they may not be too helpful outside this thread as there both sides would be available for scrutiny. It is very possible, that the father has been able to portray his side and convince those required to be as well.
I just hope that the lady in picture gets a clear picture of what is happening and is able to take a informed decision and get things moving in that direction.
#14 Feb 12th, 2019, 15:38
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#14
No, there are no two sides. If the person involved is an adult and not legally impaired, she has a right to decide what she wants to do. As an Indian citizen, she has a right to a passport - unless there is a State interest (not family interest) in denying her one. The family preference/concerns should have no legal bearing when it comes to an adult exercising their rights. But, this type of bs does fly in India.

Anyway, I do not see an alternative but to (a) resolve it with her family, or (b) resolve it in court. The family obviously cares to maintain their relationship with her - so (a) might be feasible. But, if she feels strongly - she should look into (b) as well, perhaps in parallel.
#15 Feb 12th, 2019, 23:18
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#15

Passport impounded - a horror story happening

Kmalik sums it up perfectly

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