The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Pune has registered 40 violations under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code against six hotels for not providing details of foreign guests, to the department. Filling the C-form with details of the hotel guest is mandatory.
The department has put prime hotels on radar for not providing details of foreign guests, a drive that has been intensified after the German Bakery Blast. The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) runs in Pune under the Police Commissioner.
A city hotel had played host to David Headley a year before the German Bakery blast at Surya Villa, and details were not available with the department. The department had then suspended some police officials for non-maintenance of C-form records. The department has stepped up vigil and also introduced an online registration system for streamlining the system.
“The entire system has been streamlined and with introduction of the online registration system we have been able to link 591 hotels in the city that host foreigners for filling up the C-form online. Hotel managers fill details of foreigners who check into their hotels and this is received instantly by the police,” said DCP FRO Sanjay Patil.
On the past one year, the department registered 82,620 C-forms from 590 hotels, compared to Navi Mumbai’s 29,711 forms and Thane’s 2,927. “The C-form is mandatory for every foreigner while checking into a hotel, and the visitor has to give passport number, phone number, purpose of visit, visa details and country. They would have to visit the FRO for verification,” added Patil.
In 2013, the online system was initiated and it helped in linking hotels with a software after they were registered with Pune Police Commissioner’s office. Last year, the FRO listed violations against Hotel Aurora Towers, Corinthian Club, Oakwood Hotel, Sayaji Hotels, Beverley Hills and Tourist Hotel in Rasta Peth for violations, according to details provided by the office.
Punishment for violation of section 188, is not too harsh. If disobedience to orders passed by a public servant empowered to do so leads to or tends to lead to obstruction of work, annoyance or injury to any person lawfully employed, the punishment can be simple imprisonment, up to a month or a fine, up to Rs 200, or fine and imprisonment.
Officials from the home department said there is a need for more checks and awareness among all hoteliers and tourist resorts.
“It should be mandatory for all hotels. Foreigners may check into any hotel or tourist resort and awareness of such rules should be made mandatory for all,” said an official.