An applicant for a passport cannot endorse the name of a spouse of the same sex because there is no provision in marriage laws to regulate the marriage of same-sex people in India. This order was issued in a letter to all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad by the Ministry of External Affairs recently.
Generally, every married couple writes the name of their spouse while applying for a passport as per the law.
The letter, issued by the Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, mentioned that the ministry had received a few references from its missions/posts abroad for extending passport facilities with endorsement of a spouse of the same sex as that of the applicant.
“The matter has been considered in detail in the ministry in consultation with the legal and treaties division and the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice. As there is no provision in the marriage laws to regulate the marriage of same sex people in India, endorsement of spouse name of same sex in the passport of an applicant is not advisable,” reads the letter. It adds that all passport issuing authorities are advised not to add the name of a spouse of same sex as that of an applicant in passports.
Regional Passport Officer Harmanbir Singh Gill confirmed receipt of the letter.
The Supreme Court had last year decriminalised homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
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