Religious sentiments won’t be entertained while issuing passport, the external affairs ministry has notified to all its passport offices across the nation.
The decision comes in the wake of frequent requests by individuals for replacing the name of their biological parents with that of a preacher or saint whom they follow.
The ministry on December 29 asked all passport offices to reject such requests.
The matter was being discussed with the legal & treaties division of the ministry for the past many months.
Officials said the applicant’s birth certificate is one of the most important documents required for a passport. On the basis of this document, the details of an individual are noted.
Regional passport officer Harmanbir Singh Gill said in the Doaba region, “We have been receiving frequent requests (about 5-6 per month) where people want to replace the name of their parents on the passport with that of the saint or priest they follow.
The applicants used to attach an affidavit along with the documents for making changes, he said.
The officials at the passport office said such requests were already being rejected by them, but no rules as such was earlier notified by the ministry.
“The legal and treaties department has now opined that in view of the Passport Manual 2010, there exist no basis for change of name of parents in passport”, the ministry orders stated.
Adoption cases will be considered
Though the ministry has directed all passport offices to strictly deal with such cases, the exception has been granted in adoption matters.
In the adoption cases, the applicant can only request for the change in the name of parents with court order and proper documentation.
The passport offices have been ordered to duly verify all documents submitted by applicants.
Likewise, if there is a clerical error in respect of parent’s name in the birth certificate, the changes in the name can be made on the basis of passport manual.