IFS officer refuses visa to gay diplomat's spouse, transferred

Refusing a visa to the spouse of a gay American diplomat transferred from Islamabad to New Delhi appears to have led to a senior IFS officer being moved out to a low-key posting.


Representational image. Reuters

The officer, joint secretary Neena Malhotra, reportedly refused to clear the visa application on the grounds that gay marriages are not accepted under Indian laws.

A report in The Indian Express said a senior official in the MEA's Americas division suggested that although there is no rule in India permitting gay couples to get a visa as a spouse, the diplomat's partner could have been given a visa as a family member. This has been done in the past.

Malhotra reportedly agreed to give a no-objection certificate, if the application is referred to the home ministry. "With the issue making no headway, Malhotra was shifted out to the relatively low-key archives and record management division.
MEA officials, however, denied any link between the transfer and the visa case," the report said.

Incidentally, according to the report, Malhotra was also fined $1.5 million by a New York court in 2011 in a controversial case pertaining to alleged abuse of a maid. She has appealed against the verdict.


Updated Date: Nov 29, 2013 12:11 PM

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