Aadhaar likely to be mandatory for issuance of passport: Sources

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Aadhaar likely to be mandatory for issuance of passport
New Delhi, Nov 10: Government is planning to make Aadhaar mandatory for issue of passports and is in the process of establishing a system for validation of criminal antecedents of the applicant. The issue was discussed threadbare at a meeting between the Ministries of the Home and the External Affairs, official sources said today.

The MEA is working with the Unique Identification Authority of India to implement it and the process is expected to be completed by the end of this month. In the new process, the applicant, if not in possession of an Aadhaar card, has to produce the Aadhaar enrolment number.

The move has been taken up as per the directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has favoured faster passport services in a transparent and simplified manner to the citizens.

A number of complaints are being received regularly by the government related to police verification for passports and consequent delay in issuance of the travel document. The MEA had a meeting with the National Crime Record Bureau, under the Home Ministry, and the latter confirmed that they will be able to establish a system for validation of criminal antecedents of the applicant.

"NCRB has confirmed that they will be able to set up the validation mechanism within two months. Once this is established, the criminal antecedents of the applicants for all categories will be validated on NCRB database before passport issuance," an official note prepared on the issue said.

The MEA is of the view that when an applicant already has an Aadhaar card or has applied for, his identity to a major extent is established -- this needs to be confirmed by UIDAI. Therefore, based on NCRB validation and the applicant's self declaration on the aspects of citizenship, criminal antecedents, criminal proceedings, summons/ warrants etc.

The passport can be issued on post-police verification basis. While granting the passport, the applicant will also be given the address of police station which is responsible for the police verification so that the applicant can also actively pursue and complete the process of verification before travelling abroad. "In the event of any wrong declaration by the applicant, the passport will be impounded/ revoked as per specified procedure," the note said.

PTI

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