Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod announced in June that they had become first Indian couple to summit Everest. Some climbers who were on the mountain said the claims were a lie.
This week, Nepalese authorities confirmed the couple faked the images when applying for a certificate of a successful climb. The couple were barred from climbing Nepal mountains for a decade.
Their summit claim was initially verified by Nepalese authorities based on the altered photographs they supposedly had taken on the summit of Everest.
Complaints were lodged by other mountaineers including Satyarup Siddhanta from West Bengal who said the couple used doctored versions of his photographs.
“Our investigation shows that the couple faked their summit. We have imposed a 10-year ban against them from climbing any mountain in Nepal,” said Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal, the tourism department chief.
The couple were police offices in Pune and have not returned to work since the spring. Neither of the pair have co-operated with the investigation and the two sherpas who claimed the summit have also not responded to authorities.
The Rathod’s were denied a verification certificate by Australian authorities for their claim to have climbed Australia’s 10 highest peaks in November 2014. Around 450 climbers reached the summit of Everest this year.