Are bribes demanded or are they offered?

As described in my post Unbelievable! Renewed passport received within 2 days!, the process at the PSK (Passport Seva Kendra) ended with the issuing of an Acknowledgement Letter.

Among other things, the Acknowledgement Letter stated that, “Police Verification shall be carried out post (after) issuance of your passport. Please ensure your presence at your current residence during the Police Verification process. You may contact your area Police Station / District Police Headquarters for any further information or assistance in this regard.”

On Sunday, 6 days after my visit to the PSK, and 4 days after my renewed passport had been delivered, at about 10.30 am, a policeman from the local Police Station came to my residence. He completed the Police Verification process in about 5 minutes and left. He did not ask for any money, and I did not offer anything.

The next day, at about 9.30 am, I received an SMS saying, “Police Verification initiated. Contact Commissioner of Police if not done in 3 weeks.” (This SMS should probably have reached me at least 2 days earlier!)

One day later, at about 7.30 pm, I received an SMS saying, “Police has submitted Clear report for your Current Address.”

A family friend, who lives in another part of our city, had renewed her passport a few weeks earlier. She also reported that her Police Verification had been done with no money asked for or offered.

About 10 years back, it was routine for the Police Verification to end with a request for “chai paani”. Most people paid sums ranging from Rs. 50 to Rs. 100, especially if there was urgency of any sort.

In the recent past, quite a few friends reported that, while there had been no demand or request for any money, they had themselves offered money, which had been graciously accepted by the policeman. All the persons had offered money, ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 150, mainly fearing that their files would get held up if they did not pay any money.

It appears that, these days, policemen do not ask for bribes during Police Verification for passports. However, bribes are offered by the public. Of course, I’m not sure whether this is the case all over the country.

Did you get a passport issued or renewed in the recent past? During Police Verification, were you asked for money by the policeman, or did you offer him any money?

What has been your experience with the police in other matters? Do they ask for bribes/tips or do people offer bribes/tips? Do bribes/tips affect the work done by the police?

What has been your experience with other government officials? Do they ask for bribes/tips or do people offer bribes/tips? Do bribes/tips affect the work done by these government officials?

Are bribes demanded or are they offered?

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19 thoughts on “Are bribes demanded or are they offered?

  1. That is very good.. proud..

    But I had two experiences in two weeks of stay. . Good and one bad..

    In chandigarh stopped for crossing a red light..I did not see ..I told the officer that the light is not visible. . He walked woth me to see and accepted yes cant see.. and no challan..

    Coming back from punjab into chandigahr .. my car had tinted windows.. I knew it was wromg.. but I took the risk .. I wud have got tint removed in morning .. my luck .. got stopped right on the border. .

    I told the officer I would get it removed and he asked for 500 rs. Straight .. had two stars on his shoulder.. it was embarassing for me.. but not to him..

    I said no and was handed a challan of 1000rs..

    But me being me..I took the challan handed the car rc to him..and then when all was done I showed him my id card .. amd the look onn the face of the officer was priceless.. he was like shud have told earlirr earlier. . And I am.like u asked for 500 first..

    So things are getting better in our nation fpr sure and hopefully all will be fine.. soon..

    • Thank you for your feedback. People should share their experiences in such matters so that others can have realistic expectations before going through the same process.

      Why was the officer surprised/shocked when he saw your ID card?

      • Because I am an officer myself and senior to him.. he was surprised as he said why did i not use my card to tell him who i was, so he would not have challaned me ..

        Officers are supposed to be gentlemen.. I am sure they get paid enough then to ask for money.. at least thats what i think..

  2. in case of my passport i did not have to pay any fine or such ..we are a bunch of people in a small town and everybody know each other.. so just a phone call from the police station was enough it seems for the verification to be done.. it was pretty smooth..
    for one of my friend though he had to give bribe by going to the police station. it seems they were delaying .. they didn’t ask explicitly though .. but some how indicated they want bribe.. after he gave the money, they asked for more but he didn’t oblige..
    So I guess it exists at certain places and at certain places not …

    • Thank you for your feedback. People should share their experiences in such matters so that others can have realistic expectations before going through the same process.

      From your friend’s experience, it is clear that policemen do delay Police Verification reports to pressurise the person into offering a bribe. Does your friend live in a small town or a big city? Did he need his passport urgently? If yes, had he (knowingly or inadvertently) let the police know about his urgency?

  3. It depends on the state you live in, when I was in NOIDA police officer took money, but in Warora and Chennai,it was done professionally without any demands.

  4. The policeman asked for Rs.150 per passport nearly 10 years back. We have to go for change of address soon. Should see what happens.

    Good to know that taking bribe is coming down slowly. My husband was impressed while getting the change of address written in our ration card while shifting to the new house. They were very professional, he said. Even while surrendering our gas connection. Normally, I was the one who was doing all these work. I was worried when he said that he will do this time. But he did all these work, without much trouble. The staff were polite too, it seems. He was bragging about it for a long time!

  5. Depends on where you live. In Uttar Pradesh, bribes are still routinely asked for. Many students
    who did not pay bribes did not get their passports even after a year. If one needs to get a passport within a couple of months, the only possibility is to have someone you know who can put in a word for you. This was the case till about a year or so back. I haven’t checked very recently.

    But I am still very happy that things are so much better in the other states and I am sure
    it will improve here also, perhaps after a few more years.

    • I read your posts just now.

      Do you remember the level of computerisation then? Did you fix the appointment online? Was the office manned only by government employees, or were there employees of any private IT company as well?

      • No computerization for police verification appointment. No, the appointment wasn’t online. Someone called me from the police station and asked me to come to the station with all documents and two witnesses. No private company involved at all. The police station had only police officers and I did not see a single lady officer either.

  6. For my first passport which I acquired in 2003, both the police waala and the postman had asked for chai-paani and we did end up paying Rs.100 and Rs.50 respectively. Nowadays, the Police officials do not ask for money and neither does the postman. And all this because if the papers are all clear and you’re found at your residence with the originals they cannot delay the process since almost all of the checking is already done at the PSK. The Postman came to my place at 6.30 p.m. when I reached back from office because he was not supposed to keep it with him any longer than that. No money was asked.

  7. I love reading such positive posts about things that are going right with the system. Thanks Pro for writing about these experiences. Really encouraging on many levels 🙂

  8. Well, my experience differs. I got my passport renewed and got one made for my son. And, in both cases I had to pay the police. It was a rather funny way of his asking for it. My husband was not at home so he insisted on talking to him. He deliberately came at night so as to ensure that he finds the men at home. It was coincidental that none was available that day. So, he ended up discussing the matters with the women-folk of the family. When confronted on the matter (obviously politely coz we really wanted the passports), he said that if you don’t want to give the money, its okay, we’ll give from our pockets. We have to give to our seniors, whether we take or not from you. Maybe it’s an area thing that your experience differs from mine.

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