No separate passport with orange colour jacket will be issued to ECR (Emigration Check Required) passport holders, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday, 30 January.

The practice of printing of the last page of the passport would continue.

A statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said: “After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders.”

The meeting was chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The Centre had earlier decided to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders. It had claimed that such a passport will protect labourers working in foreign lands from exploitation.

The move was criticised for being discriminative towards underprivileged workers.

Acting on a PIL, the Kerala High Court had on Monday, 29 January, issued a notice to the Centre. The petitioner had argued that the decision was a breach of fundamental right to privacy and dignity.

Passports currently are issued in three colours. While blue passports are meant for the general people, the white passports are issued to government officers, and diplomats are issued red passports.