NEW DELHI: A Ministry of External Affairs internal enquiry has reportedly ruled that the passport officer who denied passports to an interfaith couple in Lucknow had exceeded his jurisdiction and that his subsequent transfer would not be revoked.
Officially, the MEA has declined comment, only saying the law would take its course.
On June 20, Tanvi Seth and her husband Mohammad Anas Siddiqui took to Twitter to accuse Vikas Misra, an official at the Lucknow passport office, of harassing her because she was married to a Muslim. While Seth accused Misra of publicly humiliating her and ‘moral policing’, Siddiqui said he had been asked to “change my name, and my religion,” and that their passport applications had been put on hold.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who was abroad at the time, then asked her ministry to ensure that passports were issued to the couple the very next day, and transferring Misra. Misra, however, claimed that he had asked for a change because Seth had submitted a marriage certificate (nikahnama) with a different name, and thus violated passport norms.
A senior official told The New Indian Express, “One can only hope that this enquiry brings closure to this whole sordid episode.”