The HC was hearing a petition that argued that the move would expose the social status of a person publicly through the colour code.

Kerala HC issues notice to Centre over colour coding of passport
news Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 10:13

The Kerala High Court on Monday questioned the Centre’s decision to introduce an orange colour cover for passports that require an emigration-check.

The court pulled up the centre while hearing a public interest writ petition, filed by Shamsudeen from Kollam and another person, who claimed that the orange colour passports were introduced to segregate under-educated people, who have not passed their Class 10 examination.

The petition stated that the Centre’s move would expose the status of a person publicly through the colour code, and was a gross invasion of the rights to privacy and dignity. The petition also mentioned that it violated the principle of equality.  

Passport holders with the separate colour coding would be more prone to harassment and exploitation as their vulnerable status would be exposed through the colour, the petition argued.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affair decided to do away with the last page of the passport that contains the names of the spouse, parents and address of the passport-holder.

It also changed the colour of ECR passports, largely availed of by unskilled workers seeking employment abroad.

The last page also contains information such Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number with date and place of issue of that passport.

"As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

ECR passport holders require clearance from the Protector General of Emigrants to go abroad in order to prevent exploitation.

The Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik, will be designing the new passport booklets in due course.

Till such time the new passport booklets are designed, manufactured and made available to the Ministry by ISP, Nashik, the passports and other travel documents would continue to be printed with the last page.

"The existing passports would continue to remain valid till the date of expiry printed in the passport booklet," Kumar confirmed.


IANS inputs