CHENNAI: The State government on Saturday informed that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has not given its consent to prosecute 15 passports officers in the 2019 fake passport scam involving officials of police, passport, and postal departments in the State.
Detailing the status of the case, a three-page statement released by Tamil Nadu government on Saturday said that action was being taken to file chargesheet in the case after finalising the investigation against 41 persons, including 14 officers of regional passport offices, five police officers, two postal officers and 13 travel agents among others who had committed/abetted the crime of allegedly issuing fake passports to foreign/Indian nationals using fake documents. Stating that consent was obtained from Ramanathapuram range DIG, deputy commissioner (south) of Madurai city and Sivagangai SP under Section 197 of CrPC on March 25, May 20, and May 18, 2022, respectively for initiating criminal proceedings against inspector Ilavarasu, head constable Kandasamy and constables Kaviyarasu and Anand in the case, the State government release said that the district Collector of Madurai has consented to initiate criminal proceedings against 39 accused including all cops involved, under Section 15 of Passport Act, 1967. A proposal was sent to MEA to initiate the criminal proceedings against 14 passport officers on December 31, 2021. Clarification and records sought by MEA for the proposal were sent on March 10, 2022, the statement said, adding that the MEA, however, has yet to give its consent for the same. Q branch sleuths of Madurai would complete the probe and file the final charge sheet before the court soon, the statement added.