Liberalising the passport system, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday announced the government’s decision to do away with police verification for the issuance process, for first-time normal category passport applicants.
The applicants can acquire passport faster with other government-issued identity papers. The new system prioritises issuance of normal passports, leaving police verification for a later date. “If you submit application with copies of Aadhaar, Voter ID and PAN Card, with an affidavit of no criminal case, we will issue passport,” Ms. Swaraj tweeted.
An official release said: “… normal passport applications of all first-time applicants furnishing Aadhaar, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card and an affidavit in the format of Annexure-I will be processed on Post-Police Verification basis… subject to successful online validation of Aadhaar number.”
Annexure-1 of the passport application form lays out the format of the affidavit declaring “no criminal record” of the applicant.
The police verification process, which can take place after the applicant has acquired the new passport, has been streamlined with the launch of “mPassport Police App” for speedy submission of Police Verification (PV) report.
“The app would facilitate the field level verification officers to directly capture the PV report into the system digitally. With launch of this app, the need to download and print the physical Personal Particulars Form and questionnaire would no longer be required, resulting in paperless end-to-end digital flow of the PV process,” the press release said. The new app will reduce the police verification process to 21 days.