After Spain fracas, Biocon chief pushes for smarter passports

Finally, the officials looked up some rules which allows a year’s time to update the information and the couple was allowed to travel.

Published: 06th January 2020 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2020 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw ( File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Biotech entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has alleged that she and her husband John Shaw were harassed in Barcelona, Spain, by airline officials as the passport number on his OCI (British citizen) card did not match with his new passport number.

The Biocon chief told TNIE that they were flying back to India when airline officials at Barcelona harassed them over the discrepancy. Not the one to give up easily, she produced an image of his old passport but the authorities did not accept it and insisted that they should carry the physical copy of the previous passport.

“In this technology era, why can’t they have this data on an electronic chip, instead of subjecting passengers to harassment?’’ she asked.

Finally, the officials looked up some rules which allows a year’s time to update the information and the couple was allowed to travel. “We had to beg them. It was such a nuisance,’’ she said.

Also, what came to their rescue was a document issued by the Karnataka Government. Her husband John Shaw said he had a driving license which shows they stay in Bengaluru. When he showed them the card, they relented and allowed them to board the flight saying, “Because you live in India, we are allowing you to travel”.

‘’Overseas Citizenship of India allows foreign citizens of Indian origin to live and work in India while maintaining dual citizenship. The OCI card is a permanent document. How does it matter?’’ she said.

Mazumdar-Shaw, who hold various other positions, later tweeted, “Passports globally r very poorly designed as they don’t capture previously issued passports causing huge problems for travellers.

Why can’t they hv a page with previous passports issued. Moreover with computerisation surely this data is available instead of harassing passengers.’’ (sic)

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