|18 Feb 2010|
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT MISUSE OF TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
NO BUSINESS ON DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS
From a Delhi correspondent
NEW DELHI: Members of Parliament are allegedly
misusing their diplomatic passports for work and business, hence
Foreign office has issued a circular.The External Affairs Ministry has
sought to put an end to such malpractice.
Diplomatic passports are issued to MPs going abroad on diplomatic
assignment as also to their spouses accompanying them. In a letter to
Parliament, the Ministry has made it clear that these can be used for
personal visits as well but not conducting any business or professional
work as a lawyer, doctor or a businessperson.
"While diplomatic passports can be used for private visit like tourism
or visiting friends and relatives, they are not meant to be used when
traveling abroad for work and business," the letter said.
It also makes it clear that any MP having the diplomatic passport does
not get a right to visit any country, no matter even if the ministry
sends a visa note for their visit.
"While issuing visa notes addressed to foreign Missions, the purpose of
visit is specified, viz. official or private. However, it remains the
prerogative of the foreign missions to grant or decline visa to an
applicant, regardless of the visa note from this Ministry," the letter