KATHMANDU, Aug 31: The government has imposed a 10-year ban on an Indian police couple for morphing the photographs to obtain their Mt Everest summit certificates.
The couple would not be allowed to enter Nepal for 10 years and will be banned from mountaineering expeditions, according to a ministerial-level decision taken by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation on Tuesday.
"Likewise, the government has also rescinded the certificates they gained," reads a statement issued by the ministry.
The ministry was in dilemma since there was no minister at the Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation due to political transition. However, the newly-appointed Tourism Ministry Jeevan Bahadur Shahi endorsed the legal action against the couple as per a recommendation made by the Department of Tourism.
The Indian police couple Dinesh Chandrakant Rathod and his wife Tarkeshwari Chandrakant Bhelerao from Pune had made a false claim of having reached the summit of Mt Everest on May 23. They had submitted morphed photographs while applying for the summit certificates. But their fellow Indian mountaineers accused them of crudely manipulating photographs to support their claim to have reached the top of Mt Everest.
Eight other mountaineers had lodged a complaint against the couple saying that Dinesh Rathod and his wife Tarakeshwari never made it to the summit and had 'morphed' photographs of themselves at the top, which the couple denied.
The others mountaineers had said that the couple, who had arrived at Mt Everest base camp very late in the climbing season to have a chance of reaching the top, had morphed the photographs. They also pointed to apparent contradictions in the photographs published online by Dinesh.