The Ministry of External Affairs is soon likely to accept Aadhaar card as identity and address proof from applicants seeking passports. This will be in addition to the other documents for issuing a passport.
The Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Hyderabad has sent proposals to the Ministry stating that Aadhaar cards could be treated as valid proof. The move follows the RPO unearthing a racket involving submission of fake electoral photo identity cards (EPIC) and ration cards by some applicants to secure passports.
A complaint was also lodged with police and information was sent to the Election Commission, officials said. To pre-empt such fraud, the RPO has requested the Ministry to treat Aadhaar cards, among other documents, as ID and proof of residence.
“We may get permission from the Ministry within a month in this regard,” said RPO K. Srikar Reddy. Currently passport officials accept applications based on 14 documents. They include birth certificate, EPIC, PAN, driving licence, ration card and service identity card issued by State and Central governments.
Mr. Reddy said the walk-in facility launched by the passport office with the help of eSeva centres for eight categories recently had generated good response. The eight categories are Tatkal services (fresh/reissue cases), senior citizens, minors below 15 years whose parents hold valid passports, physically challenged persons, all government employees, their spouses and dependent minor children, deletion of ECR status, seekers of new booklets and police clearance certificate.