PANAJI: Indian Passports of 114 persons from Goa have been revoked by the Regional Passport Office(RPO), Panaji in last 3 years due to possession of Bilhete de Identidade(BI) of Portugal.
The Lok Sabha was told in a reply by MoS for External Affairs V Muraleedharan to the question raised by South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha.
RPO, Panaji has received more than 2,000 applications during the last 3 years for surrender of Indian passports consequent upon acquisition of Portuguese nationality, the reply further informed.
On the query raised by Sardinha as to whether the matter has been raised with the Portuguese Government regarding the legal issues faced by persons in India due to BI registration by them, and the steps taken by the Government to resolve the issue and provide a well-defined policy framework in this regard, the reply stated that there is a well defined law in place in terms of the Passports Act 1967 and the Citizenship Act 1955 to regulate such cases.
As per the existing circular dated November 30, 2022, those persons holding foreign nationality and attempting to renew their Indian passport will face revocation of their passports under Section 10 (3) (b) of the Passport Act of 1967.
Since the circular, several applicants who came to the passport office for renewal unaware of the consequences, found their passports revoked with the RPO issuing them a ‘revocation certificate’ instead of a ‘surrender certificate.’
MEA officials already indicated that many applicants might have been misled by agents or ignorantly resorted to continuing with their nationalities’ status or taken advantage of possible loopholes in the law; resulting in the current situation.
However, applicants who followed the law got their applications for surrender of Indian passports accepted by the RPO.