The reply was to a query by a division bench of justices V M Kanade and Anuja Prabhudessai, which was hearing a petition by a woman who was asked not to enter her step-father's name in the passport. Discussing the matter, the HC asked,"We were wondering what happens in case of unwed mothers?" Appearing for the ministry of external affairs, Advocate Purnima Bhatia said that an unwed mother should file an affidavit stating how she conceived or if she was raped and who raped her, and why the father's name is not included.
She further added that the details have to mentioned in the passport manual, which is a classified document. The judges were shocked too.
A 21 year old woman had filed a petition challenging the refusal of a regional passport officer to issue passport in the name of her step-father as per school/college records. The official also said that she must obtain a court order appointing him as her guardian. The officer also refused to include the name of her mother who had permanent custody of the girl.