CBI Unearths Passport Seva Kendra Corruption: 14 Officials Booked in Mumbai

Passport seva kendra

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has intensified its crackdown on corruption at the Mumbai-based Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). In a recent development, the CBI filed two additional First Information Reports (FIRs), bringing the total number of officials booked to 14. Let’s know the specifics:

  1. The Accused Officials:
  • Deputy Passport Officer (DPO) Pradnya Pradeep Wankhedekar: The Malad-based DPO allegedly accepted illegal gratification to favor passport agents during the issuance of passports. She engaged in suspicious transactions with her colleagues and received bribes totaling approximately Rs 51 lakh from passport facilitation agents, including Sheikh Muzammil, Suleman Sheikh, and others. Additionally, she benefited from an agent named Mehul Desai, who is also implicated in the case.
  • Passport Providing Officer (GO) Umesh Devadhiya: The Lower Parel PSK superintendent received Rs 4.08 lakh in illegal bribes from agent Muzammil between October 2020 and June 2024. Furthermore, his bank account showed suspicious credit entries amounting to around Rs 7.37 lakh from May 2023 to May 2024.
  1. The Brokers and RPO Officials Nexus:
  • The CBI claims to have exposed a deep-rooted nexus between brokers and Regional Passport Office (RPO) officials. This network allegedly facilitated corrupt practices within the PSK system.
  • The investigation revealed that passport assistants and senior passport assistants posted at Passport Seva Kendras in Lower Parel and Malad were also involved in the corruption scheme.
  1. The Allegations:
  • Wankhedekar’s acceptance of undue advantage compromised the integrity of passport issuance. Her actions favored certain applicants at the expense of transparency and fairness.
  • Devadhiya’s role in granting passports under the influence of bribes raises serious concerns about the system’s vulnerability to corruption.
Passport seva kendra

The CBI’s relentless efforts to dismantle this network of corruption underscore the importance of maintaining the integrity of passport services. As investigations continue, the spotlight remains on the PSK officials involved in this scandal.