The Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India has issued a directive to all the passport issuing authorities on Monday to accept the surrender of Registration Certificates (RCs) and Identity Certificates (ICs) of Tibetan Refugees eligible to apply for Indian passports. The memorandum from the ministry has come in response to a Delhi High court order.
The directive signed by Chief Passport Officer of Government of India Arun Kumar Chatterjee declared that “Every Tibetan Refugee born in India between 26 January 1950 and 1 July 1987 would be considered eligible for the issue of Indian passport by the passport issuing authorities in India and abroad.”
The eligible Tibetan Refugees who wanted to apply for Indian Passports have been facing difficulty in surrendering (a necessary pre condition) their Tibetan RC (Registration Certificate issued by Government of India to Tibetan refugees for residing in the country) and ICs (Identity Certificate or Yellow Book issued by Government of India as a travel document to Tibetan refugees), due to lack of a clear guideline appealed the Delhi High Court.
The letter also outlined that the RC and IC can be surrendered at the Regional Passport Office (RPO) who will issue a receipt of it. The RPO that will send the RC to the FRO for cancellation. If the RC has already been surrendered at the FRO, the applicant will submit the surrender certificate issued by the FRO at the time of applying for a passport. The RPOs has also been asked to process the applications received till date and in future from eligible Tibetan applicants.
The directive has clearly outlined the condition that the Tibetans obtaining Indian Passports requires to submit a declaration that the person will not be residing in any of the Tibetan refugee settlements as well as not be enjoying any CTA benefits, privileges or subsidies.