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India
04 Jul 2018

After much controversy, Lucknow Hindu-Muslim couple cleared for passports

Tanvi Seth cleared for passport under new rules

After much controversy, Tanvi Seth of Lucknow, wife of Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, has finally been cleared for an Indian passport.

The couple made the news when they alleged a passport officer had harassed them over their inter-faith marriage.

Public opinion turned against them when UP Police reported Seth hasn't been staying at her mentioned address since a year.

But the passport office has an explanation.

In context

Tanvi Seth cleared for passport under new rules
Couple made the news after alleged harassment by passport officer

Background

Couple made the news after alleged harassment by passport officer

Seth and Siddiqui grabbed headlines after they took to Twitter to allege harassment by Passport Granting Officer Vikas Mishra.

Apparently, he slammed Seth as she was married to a Muslim and hadn't changed her name in her documents either.

He also asked Siddiqui to convert to Hinduism, yelling at the couple when they refused to comply.

Officer

Mishra denied allegations of harassment, witness backed him

After Seth and Siddiqui reached out to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter, the Ministry served Mishra a showcause notice and transferred him.

But he insisted he had done no wrong and was following protocol; he also objected to Seth, a Noida resident, applying from Lucknow.

A witness backed Mishra, saying he hadn't misbehaved.

Meanwhile, the couple got their passports, but without police verification.

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Police claim discrepancies in Seth's actual address and application details

Police

Police claim discrepancies in Seth's actual address and application details

Last week, UP Police flagged a flaw in Seth's residential address. According to rules, applicants have to be staying at the mentioned address for at least one year, said SSP Deepak Kumar.

Asked if police will take any action, Kumar had said their job is to submit a verification report on six points. Action depends on the regional passport officer (RPO), he added.

Cleared

Under new rules, six points decide grant of passport: RPO

RPO Peeyush Verma has now clarified that the address was of Seth's in-laws.

According to sources, an internal probe had found that Mishra and UP Police had gone beyond their duty by asking "irrelevant" questions.

Police had to probe only criminality and citizenship, and there was no adverse report in these six points, Verma said.

There was no issue with Siddiqui's passport, which got renewed.

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