CHANDIGARH, India: Regional passport offices in Chandigarh and Jullundur will soon resume issuing passports to the applicants from Punjab. All applications received until March 31 will be cleared first. The R.P.O. had suspended issuing passports to Punjab applicants on December 15 last year, after the Chandigarh police refused to issue clearance certificates to Punjab domiciles. Asa result a backlog of more than 35 thousand applications accumulated in Chandigarh and Jullundur offices in the past four months. The External Affairs Ministry issued guidelines more than a year ago making it mandatory for the applicants from Punjab to get clearance certificate not only from the police of the district of their domicile and the Punjab C_L.O. but also from the C.L.D. wing of the Chandigarh police. Initially the guidelines were meant for Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also. The condition of clearance from Chandigarh police was subsequently waived in as of Haryana and Himachal.
Initially Chandigarh police started issuing clearance certificates as and when requests were received from the regional passport officer of Chandigarh and Jullundur. In December, Chandigarh police made it clear that it has no /locusstandi to get a clearance certificate to a person who have never lived in the union territory. The stand of the police was later ratified by the administrative wing of the Home Ministry. The refusal of the Chandigarh police was conveyed to the passport officers in December.