Inter-faith couple ‘harassed’: All norms followed in issuing passport, says MEAhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/inter-faith-couple-harassedd-all-norms-followed-in-issuing-passport-says-mea-5247728/

Inter-faith couple ‘harassed’: All norms followed in issuing passport, says MEA

Sources said a probe by the MEA had found that Vikas Mishra, the passport officer who allegedly humiliated the inter-faith couple, and the police officer who carried out verification of the applicant overstepped their brief.

Tanvi Seth had accused the passport officer of targeting her and husband, Anas Siddiqui, because of their interfaith marriage. (File Photo)

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Thursday said that all existing norms were followed in issuance of a passport to a Lucknow woman, weeks after she and her husband were allegedly harassed at the passport office in Lucknow.

“I would like to categorically state that all existing norms were followed during the issuance of passport to Tanvi Seth. I hope this clarifies the matter and puts to rest all misinformation in this regard,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

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Sources said a probe by the MEA had found that Vikas Mishra, the passport officer who allegedly humiliated the inter-faith couple, and the police officer who carried out verification of the applicant overstepped their brief. Kumar said the police officer verifying Seth’s details added two comments on his own, based on which the police verification (PV) report was put in “adverse category”. The first point says the applicant’s name in the passport form is Tanvi Seth, while in her marriage certificate her name is Sadia Anas, and the second was a discrepancy in her address, as her rental address in Noida is not mentioned in the form.

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Kumar said these two points were not required at all as per the latest guidelines framed by the ministry. He said the PV report sent to the regional passport office in Lucknow was to be based on a decision taken in December 2017 that PV will be undertaken only on two points — whether the applicant is a citizen of India and whether any criminal case is pending against him or her.

“These two aspects were converted into a six-point PV form. This decision was communicated to DGPs of all states and Union territories to implement PV norms from June 1, 2018,” said Kumar. In Seth’s case, Kumar said there was no adverse report on all six points in the revised form.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was trolled after the passport was issued to Seth.