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MEA Internal Probe Says Passport Official 'Sought Details Not Required' in Interfaith Couple Row

The clearance was given to the couple’s passports after Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) did not file any adverse report related to the six points mentioned in the new passport verification rules.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:July 5, 2018, 3:41 PM IST
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MEA Internal Probe Says Passport Official 'Sought Details Not Required' in Interfaith Couple Row
File image of the inter-faith couple Tanvi Seth and Anas Siddiqui. (Image: Special Arrangement)
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Lucknow: The internal probe by the MEA in the passport row has concluded that the accused official Vikas Mishra and the Lucknow police sought details that were not required as per the new rules issued by the ministry.

The clearance was given to the couple’s passports after Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) did not file any adverse report related to the six points mentioned in the new passport verification rules.

A source revealed that it was found in the probe that the applicants needed to provide only two documents to prove their identity at the time of application and the accused official had no business asking about the marriage certificate.

Last week, the Lucknow police filed an adverse report saying Seth has been living in Noida for the past one year and not at the Lucknow address which was mentioned in her passport application form, after which it was speculated that Tanvi Seth could be served a notice and her passport could also be revoked.

The probe found that police verification shouldn’t have gone beyond two points of enquiry, which are precisely: criminal verification and the nationality.

The MEA had in June reduced the number of questions from nine to six, which an applicant is required to answer, restricting the focus on criminal antecedents and nationality of the applicant.

Speaking to News18, Regional Passport Officer, Piyush Verma said, "The new pro forma for Police verification is implemented with effect from June 1, 2018, which is confined only to criminal verification and citizenship of the applicants. There are no adverse reports on those 6 points of proforma, therefore it cannot be considered as adverse.”

The incident was first reported by News18 when Siddiqui and Seth were allegedly harassed and shamed by passport officer Vikas Mishra, who then rejected their application.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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