August 23, 2017

Police verification for passport to go online within a year

Indian passport

The government is planning to replace physical verification of the applicant's antecedents with online verification using a link to the newly-created national database on crimes of criminals, as there are delays in issue of passports due to lack of timely police verification.

The much-delayed CCTNS project, first approved in 2009, finally set off with Union home minister Rajnath Singh launching the Digital Police portal that e-integrates the country's 15,398 police stations and allows citizens to report crime and request antecedent’s verification online.

The national digital police portal is linked to various state police citizen portals and empowers the central investigating and research agencies to use their secure login to access the national database on crime and criminals as well as crime statistics and analytics.

The CCTNS will for now, allow the law enforcement agencies to track crimes and criminals in real time, apart from enabling citizens to report felony and seek antcedents verification online, the home ministry expects to unify it with e-courts and e-prisons software over the next couple of months. "This will allow police to access court and prison records, aiding investigation," said a home ministry officer.

Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said it will also be linked to the passport seva software, allowing online police verification for passports within a year, thereby indicating that unifying the CCTNS with other citizen-centric services would be an ongoing process.

The link will enable police verification requests to be transmitted online by the passport office followed by online verification using the database on crime and criminals. Even where physical visits to the applicant's neighbourhood are required, the inputs and comments may be fed on hand-held mobile/tablet devices and transmitted back electronically to the passport office.

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