Consular functions constitute an important part of duties and responsibilities entrusted to designated officers of the Indian Missions/Posts abroad. The authority to do so flows from many Acts and Rules framed by the Government in accordance with domestic laws as well as keeping in view international obligations. Consular duties broadly include the following :--
Welfare of Indians abroad,
Financial assistance to Indian citizens and repatriation of Indian citizens,
Assistance relating to whereabouts of Indian workers, Indian seamen etc.,
Attestation of documents such as power of attorney, wills, oaths, affidavits, and documents relating to shipping, trade education etc.,
Registration of Births and deaths of Indian citizens,
Solemnisation of Marriage under Special Marriage Act 1969, Foreign Marriage Act 1969 and rules there under,
Consular assistance to arrested Indian citizens,
Assistance in case of death of Indian citizens, death compensation and remittance thereof,
Administration of Properties, Estates and Wills of Indian abroad,
Assistance relating to war graves/war damage pay/pension/provident fund,
Dealing with Civil and criminal proceedings against Indians abroad, and
Liaison with foreign governments for implementation of Extradition Treaties, Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance, Letters of Request, Transmission of Legal Notices/Summons, Examination of witnesses in criminal cases and transfer of convicted offenders.
The policy in administering the acts mentioned above is framed by Consular Wing of CPV Division in consultation with concerned Ministries/Departments. Consular Wing is also entrusted with work relating to questions related to Indian citizenship, adoption of children by foreigners, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, arrest/death of foreigners in India, legalization of documents, implementation of Apostilles Convention and administration of Diplomatic & Consular Officers (Oaths & Fees) Act 1948 as amended. This Act empowers every diplomatic or consular officer, in any foreign country or place where he/she is exercising his/her functions, to administer any oath and take any affidavit and also do any notarial act which any notary may do within the States comprising the Union of India; and every oath, affidavit and notarial act administered, sworn or done by or before any such person shall be effectual as if duly administered, sworn or done by or before any lawful authority in any State of India. Section 6 of the Act empowers the Central Government to prescribe the scale of fees for the performance of different types of consular services. The Table of Fees appended to the Diplomatic and Consular Officers (Fees) Rules, 1949 as amended, covers a comprehensive range of consular functions. The power to perform various functions relating to 'Shipping' is derived by the consular officers from the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. A table of Consular Fees as applicable with effect from 1st April, 2002 is appended (Appendix).
The following Acts and Rules govern consular functions:--
Citizenship Act 1955 as amended ; Citizenship Rules, 1956
Citizens (Registration at Consulates) Rules 1956, as amended
Foreign Marriage Act 1969 & Foreign Marriage Rules, 1970
Special Marriage Act 1954 ; Special Marriage (Diplomatic & Consular Officers) Rules, 1955 Diplomatic and Consular Officers (Oaths and Fees) Act, 1948,
Extradition Act 1962, as amended.
Merchant Shipping Act 1958, as amended.
Merchant Shipping (Registration of Indian Ships) Rule, 1960.
Merchant Shipping (Distressed Seamen) Rule, 1960.
S.V. (Statement of Crew) Rule, 1960.
Merchant Shipping (Wrecks and Salvage) Rules, 1974.
National Maritime Agreement.
The work relating to attestation of documents at the Headquarters (CPV Division) has been outsourced since 1st March, 2012, on a trial basis for three months and the collection / delivery of documents for attestation are being handled by the following five agencies. The documents for attestation are required to be deposited with any one of the agencies mentioned below :--
M/s. VFS Global Services, Attestation-Collection Centre, S-2 level (Upper Ground Floor), Block-E, International Trade Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi-110 019. Phone: 011 -40548204.
M/s. IVS Global Service Pvt. Ltd, 119, New Delhi House (1st Floor), 27 Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi. Phone: 011- 61608080 ; Fax: 011- 43115800.
IVS Global Service Pvt. Ltd. S.C.O. 83/84, Sector 34 A, Chandigarh, Phone: 0172-61608080.
M/s. Cox & Kings Global Services, GF, Kamal Cinema Commercial Complex, Block A & B, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi-110 029. Phone: 011-26197635.
M/s. Cox & Kings Global Service, Indra Place, H Block Middle Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi -110 001. Phone: 011- 23738811.
N.B. : The service fee chargeable per document by the above mentioned agencies is Rs. 22/- for personal document, Rs. 18/- for educational document and Rs. 16/- for commercial document. The service fee is exclusive of the Rs. 50/- Postal Order required for Apostille on each document.