Now consent of just one parent on Annexure ‘G’ signed by a first-class magistrate is enough for passport clearance to minors.
It will help in cases where one parent lives abroad or where the consent of both is unavailable for other reasons. Annexture ‘G’ is an affidavit in which of the one of the parents will confirm the child’s particulars submitted for passport and mention why the signatures of the other parent could not be secured. A magistrate or executive magistrate will then attest the form.
In the Doaba region, an NRI (non-resident Indian) hub of Punjab from where many people go abroad, the passport department had came across many cases where one of the parents was settled abroad and not keeping contact with the family. Earlier, it was mandatory for both parents to certify the particulars for child’s passport. The consent was secured on Annexure ‘H’.
“In many cases, it was difficult to get both parents to sign the application, so the Jalandhar passport office had to seek clarification from the Ministry of External Affairs,” said regional passport officer Harmanbir Singh Gill.
The department required two clarifications from the ministry — In case of minor applicant whose father is settled abroad illegally and his whereabouts are not known to the family, or who is not in touch with it, is his consent required, when the mission abroad has verified the child’s particulars? If the child’s father holds a valid passport issued by an Indian mission abroad but the mother says he stays abroad illegally, should we believe her or ask for the mission?
The ministry replied: “In case one of the parents is unable to secure consent and signatures of the other parent living abroad, duly sworn Annexure ‘G’ may be accepted before the first-class magistrate or executive magistrate in place of Annexure ‘H’.”