Passports don’t need details of spouse or father: Panel to MEA

In its report submitted to the MEA, the panel has said that in keeping with global practices, the ministry must consider doing away with these details.

Written by Shalini Nair | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2016 6:08 am
passports, indian passports, women passport, passport procedural harassment, passport offices, Ministry of External Affairs, MEA, passport booklet, india news, indian express Photo for representational purpose

IN VIEW of complaints, especially from women, of procedural harassment in passport offices, an inter-ministerial panel has recommended that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) should do away with the practice of printing details of a person’s father, mother or spouse in the passport booklet. In its report submitted to the MEA, the panel has said that in keeping with global practices, the ministry must consider doing away with these details.

The panel has observed that the information is “irrelevant for immigration purposes either in India or abroad”. It has also noted that the passport booklets of most countries, especially those of developed nations, do not ask for names of father/ legal guardian, mother, spouse or other details as printed on page 35.

It has said that while these details may be required, the MEA does not need to print the information in the passport booklets, as most of the complaints received from women pertain to this particular page.

The committee, comprising officials from the Ministry of Woman and Child Development (WCD), MEA and Central Passport Organisation, was formed over three months ago to review the Passport Act 1967 and Passport Rules 1980.
“The only details required for immigration purposes are those printed on page 2 that pertain to the passport holder’s name, sex, nationality, birth and passport details. Women — single, separated and divorced — have complained to us that they find it demeaning when asked for irrelevant details that they are often not comfortable revealing,” said an official from the ministry of Women and Child Development.

The panel’s suggestion resolves not only most of the issues related to single parents, but also problems faced by separated/ divorced couples, orphans, and children born through surrogacy or out of wedlock. The committee was constituted after WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj highlighting a particular instance of harassment faced by a single parent, Priyanka Gupta.

Gupta had got over a lakh supporters to sign her online petition highlighting the trouble she faced as passport officials reportedly refused to issue a passport to her daughter, unless she included the father’s name. The father had abandoned the child immediately after her birth.

Maneka had pointed out that the passport guidelines still require the father’s name to be mentioned, despite the fact that the Delhi High Court, in July, said the father did not have to be named.

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  1. M
    mohsin aktel
    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:33 am
    I like that there is a flap rather than a zipper to keep everything in, because I tend to destroy zippers. Overall, I am impressed with what I received for how little it cost, and I think it will exceed the lifespans of the last few wallets I have had. s: amazon /Genuine-Leather-Passport-Organizer-Wallets/dp/B01AAS1OV0
    1. J
      Nov 6, 2016 at 1:03 am
      Every December, lacs of Indian Christians adorn their house with Christmas trees, both real and;br/gt;lt;br/gt;That\'s a lot of trees. And it raises something of a dilemma for green-conscience do-gooders: Are Christmas trees bad for the environment? The answer is YES. It is bad for the environment. It is difficult to dispose. By growing Christmas trees on farms you waste water and use pesticide which is bad. Time to ban Christmas trees no real or fake.
      1. P
        Prof.Arjun Dev
        Nov 6, 2016 at 5:12 am
        What do you say?
        1. V
          Nov 6, 2016 at 5:15 am
          It is time that some body has woken up to drag India out of outdated practice of demanding superfluous and irrelevant information when it's citizens apply for pport,visa, visa extensions from police commissioners office (10 forms from, tax returns, bank statements ,mother and father's name date of birth ,religion and where they were born,their citizen ship .tax returns of your business certified by a CA for 3 years and so many other useless information in duplicate the list goes on- which they can never;br/gt;In the other countries That I have lived in I can open a bank account in 20 minutes,apply for a fresh p port at any post office (my name,personnel info and delivery address. Nothing more) I can apply for a housing loan in the morning in my bank and the loan officer will call be back by 3 pm to tell me the status .It is the same with business overdraft. lt;br/gt;This archaic practice has nothing to do with who is on the government it is the vestige of 200 year old custom which our Babus very dearly hang on to so that graft can be demanded and got for waiving the form filling . It has been going on all these time until this government decided to change it and consuted a committee for recommendations.
          1. V
            Nov 6, 2016 at 5:20 am
            congradulations, you could make some sense out out the post by Indian but my worry is that I cannot make out as to where you are heading with your comment.
            1. K
              Nov 6, 2016 at 2:20 am
              It has taken us 70 years to recognise this horrible anachronism. Can we hope in another 70, the Indian woman can be given this respect as individuals?
              1. S
                Nov 6, 2016 at 5:06 am
                So some women have problem and the government wants to change the w system. Why not just issue separate pports of different colour, to women who do not want these details to be shown. Let the others continue with the current system. It may be true that immigration does not need these details, but in India where Pport acts as a proof of ideny, doing away with mentioning parents name will be counter productive. There is something fishy in this proposal, as we do with all others by the BJP government.
                1. H
                  Nov 6, 2016 at 6:29 am
                  And you support multiple wives, concubines, rakkasa, marrying six year old cousin in name of being paigambar ?
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