Passport holders, including non-resident Indians (NRIs), may soon be rid of the trouble of running around in courts to get erroneous entries in their passports rectified.
The Ministry of External Affairs told a court in New Delhi that earlier court orders that led to the creation of a rule of the Passport Manual requiring an applicant to seek modifications in passport entries to be armed with a judicial order, could be in for a re-look.
The MEA's contention came during a recent hearing before a magistrate in New Delhi on a complaint filed by an NRI schoolboy from Switzerland, Arvind Srinivasan, who wanted the date of birth in the passport corrected before shifting to the US for higher studies.
So, be it a change in a passport holder's date of birth or a rectification of a miss-spelt name, the days of passport holders running around in overburdened courts to fulfill the conditions laid down in the Rule may well be numbered.
The development could prove significant for NRIs as the simplification of the Manual Rule, if taken to its logical conclusion, may rid them of the trouble of returning to India for approaching the passport office, which issued their passport, for rectifications.
The Ministry's counsel, AK Wali, conceded before the magistrate -- hearing Srinivasan's complaint due to his jurisdiction over the passport office here -- that there seemed to be no statutory law which authorised magistrates (in Delhi) to issue a declaratory order as required under Rule (item 8.1) of the Manual.