An inter-ministerial panel has told the Ministry of External Affairs that passports need not have details of the holder’s father, mother or spouse as such information is “irrelevant for immigration purposes either in India or abroad”, The Indian Express reported. The panel has recommended that the rule to include these details be changed, especially as it goes against international practice.

The committee included members of the Ministry of Woman and Child Development, MEA and the Central Passport Organisation. An official from the panel told the English daily that the only information that was relevant for travellers was their name, sex, nationality, birth and passport details.

Women have been complaining that being forced to provide details of a husband or father on the identity document is sexist and demeaning, particularly as men are not required to do the same. Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had in July requested the Ministry of External Affairs to amend rules for issuing passports and not make father's name a mandatory requirement. The request came after a single mother, Priyanka Gupta, tried to get her daughter's passport issued without her father's name in it, after which she started a petition that received more than 1 lakh signatures.

In a May 2016 ruling, the Delhi High Court had said it was not essential to mention the name of the father if the mother and child so desired. In her petition, Gupta had narrated how she brought up her daughter single-handedly after her husband abandoned them because she gave birth to a girl.