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Hiding in anonymity

Hiding in anonymity
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Soon after any big bang crime incident takes place in the city, the Delhi police is quick to blame it on the lack of verification of the person involved in the crime. What follows thereafter is publicity blitzkrieg insisting on getting the identity of the domestic helps, tenants, guards, etc verified. However, even if we follow the Delhi police directions in word and spirit, it’s not necessary that the local police would verify the forms you submit about either your tenants or servants or that they will get processed in due time.

According to the data mentioned in the reply to an RTI application, in possession with Millennium Post, hardly 6 per cent of the forms are verified by the cops, and all the remaining requests keep gathering dust.

Though Delhi police itself makes announcements of getting your tenant or servant verified, especially during the festive season when the national capital remains on high alert, more often than not, they themselves fail to get it verified.

The owners and the employers are required to submit photograph, identity proof (passport, voter ID card, ration card) and fill the form about their employees and tenants. Even though completing the formality by submitting the proforma and documents with the police has made you feel safe for a while, you should know  that the feeling of assurance could be misplaced and temporary.

This reporter visited several police stations in the national capital to understand the process of verification, but was surprised to find that the concerned officers seldom took the verification process seriously. ‘In general, the tenant or the servant hails from outside Delhi. So to verify the documents enclosed with the verification form, it is not possible to send a police official to that particular place to establish whether the address mentioned is true or false,’ a police official at Jamia Nagar said.

Bhola Singh Jaiswal, deputy commissioner of police (south) said, ‘Most of the tenants hail from other states, including northeastern states. In this case, verification is done with the help of state police. We send a request to the concerned police station of that state and after few days they revert to our request mentioning whether the document submitted is genuine or not.’

A senior police official requesting anonymity said, ‘Out of 100 cases, we get reply for five to six cases from the state police. As we don’t have any other option to get the documents verified, so we keep the form and the enclosed items mainly for the purpose of our records. But those documents are not more than a scrap.’

Several times, secret drives are being launched at various areas to nab the owners who have not verified the identity of their tenants. ‘Ideally the cops should be caught for not verifying the tenants whose owners have already submitted their complete documents,’ said Manoj, a property dealer in Hauz Khas.

Apart from tenant and servant verification, Delhi police is also supposed to verify the identity of the employees of various companies. In this process, the concerned company asks the employee to get his identity attested from the cops under whose jurisdiction his/her residence may be falling. The employee verification is done at additional commissioner of police or deputy commissioner’s office of that district.

A verification-specific window has been made available at all 11 district offices of the police in the national capital. An employee who wants to obtain the verification documents, needs to submit a fee of Rs 250, along with the completed form and the identity proofs.

The police official sitting at the verification window at DCP (South) office in Hauz Khas says, ‘The company only demands to verify whether the person has any criminal record or not. Either with the help of online criminal record or by contacting the officials at different police stations, we check the criminal background of the concerned employee. We have a pre-written letter claiming that the person has a clean past. There is another letter that states whether the employee has criminal cases pending against him/her, also specifying the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under which s/he has been booked. Plus, we attach the FIR copy with the verification form.’

However, many such residents seeking verification may hail from neighbouring states, so it becomes difficult to extract details of their past. Last September, a driver of a cash van fled away with Rs 49 lakh from central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area. He had joined the Cash Management Service a month ago and submitted a copy of voter ID card that was found to be fake during investigation.

If a foreigner stays in Delhi on tourist visa, the landlord does not have any means to verify his/her identity, despite getting them registered at Foreigner Regional Registration Office. Deepak Mishra, special commissioner (law and order) said, ‘To get a foreigner’s verification done, we need to
 contact the embassy of his/her country which has the right to verify them. But the process is time consuming, so usually general public doesn’t approach Delhi police for foreigner’s
verification.’
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