TAKING a leaf out of the proposal by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to keep a check on matrimonial websites, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch will soon write to these sites asking them to verify credentials of prospective grooms and brides before posting their profiles online.
Alarmed by the increase in the number of harassment complaints received from women looking for grooms on matrimonial sites, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had recently finalised the guidelines that will be soon sent to the Department of Telecom for notification.
As per the proposed guidelines, prospective grooms and brides have to share details of any government-recognised identity proof such as Aadhaar card, passport or voter card with the sites.
Once the details are vetted, the profiles will be posted. We will write to these websites asking them to put only those profiles that are verified. The details are being worked out,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) K M M Prasanna.
Sources said the website managements would be asked to get in touch with government agencies responsible for generating identification proof and only when they authenticate the details would the profiles be put up.
There are many portals that make it mandatory for the person seeking information to key in his/her Aadhaar card details. The page is then routed to the office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which generates Aadhaar card and they in turn generate an One Time Password (OTP) on the registered mobile number while verifying the credentials. The same method could be used by the matrimonial sites and once the information is verified they could move to the next step,” said a senior officer while explaining the process.
In cases where the applicant is an NRI, the same process could be adopted for verifying their Social Security Number (SSN) or a Permanent Account Number (PAN),” added the source.
The reason behind routing the information to government agencies using OTP would help ensure that the information is not misused by the website or any of its employers privy to the detail, and remains only between the seeker and the government agency. Sources said the matrimonial industry, pegged at around Rs 400 crore, was unregulated and these measures would protect bride or groom seekers from being cheated.
We have come across numerous cases where Nigerian nationals posing as Indians have chatted with women and harassed them. In some cases, they also duped them of heavy sums. By imposing these conditions, we would ensure only genuine seekers are posting profiles and not misusing the portals for personal gains,” added the source.