Days after passport authorities issued show-cause notice to Dr Altaf Gauhar Haji, Associate Professor at Surgical Oncology Department at Sher-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) for allegedly forging a document to obtain his passport, the medico has admitted 'discrepancy' in his date of birth.
"If my intentions regarding this DOB 'discrepancy' would have been intentional for personal gain, then I would have changed the same in service records of the SKIMS on the basis of DOB in passport (15-04-1969). But the DoB in my service records is 15-04-1966," Dr Altaf has said in an e-mailed statement to Greater Kashmir, in response to a story published in the newspaper over the issue on May 5.
The passport authorities have directed Dr Altaf to surrender his passport and respond to the show cause notice within four weeks, failing which action shall be initiated for impounding of his passport.
As per the notice issued to Dr Altaf, he has been asked to explain the "circumstances under which you had suppressed material information" in the application to obtain the passport and "why action shouldn't be taken to impound it."
The notice was issued to Dr Altaf on a complaint that he had "provided a forged date of birth certificate to obtain his passport, mentioning his DOB as 15/04/1969 while actually his DOB as per his service records is 15/04/1966."
"It seems this show cause notice has been issued on May 2, 2017 (but) till date I am yet to receive any copy of the same," reads Dr Altaf's email to Greater Kashmir. "Regarding my case, once I receive the copy of show cause notice I will reply and comply with the directions of concerned official."
As per the Passport Act, if a person knowingly furnishes false information or suppresses any material information with a view to obtain a passport or without lawful authority alters or causes to alter entries made in the passport, he/she shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 or both.