OCIs, Foreigners Should be Informed in Advance About Blacklisting: Court to Indian Govt
The Delhi High Court directed the government while hearing a petition by a woman, whose husband, a British orthopedic surgeon of Indian origin, was denied entry into India despite having a valid visa.
The Delhi High Court has asked the Indian government to inform in advance all Overseas Citizens of India card holders and foreigners if they are blacklisted or barred from entering India. The court called the practice of informing people about them being denied entry at the last minute as “disturbing and unreasonable.”
Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that several cases were being filed in the high court on account of foreigners or OCI card holders not being permitted entry into India when they arrive here, PTI reported. The “disturbing feature” in each case was that, despite having a valid visa, none of them had any prior intimation that they were blacklisted, he added, according to the report.
“They (foreigners/OCI card holders) discover that they are not allowed entry into the country only on their arrival at the airport in India. Whilst there may be good reason for the respondents to deny certain foreigners entry into India, the practice of not informing them of such decision in advance, cannot be countenanced. This is not only unreasonable but militates against our value of fairness that is engrafted in the Constitution of India. This practice must be deprecated,” the news agency quoted the high court as saying.
The court directed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ensure that necessary instructions are issued to all the officers, who are authorized to issue blacklisting orders, to inform the foreigners/OCI card holders in advance that they have been blacklisted and that they would be denied entry into the country on their arrival.
The court was hearing a petition filed by a woman, whose husband Dr. Naresh Satyanarayan Kumar, a British orthopedic and spine surgeon and an OCI card holder, was denied entry into the country although he held a valid visa.
The woman told that court that Kumar became a naturalized British citizen in 2006 after studying and working there for 17 years. She claimed that Kumar travels across the world to give lectures and in this case too, he was invited to give a key note lecture at a medical conference in Amritsar during Aug. 9-11, 2018, and both traveled to India on Aug.8. However, on landing in India, he was denied entry and his passport stamped “entry refused.”
Advocate Jasmeet Singh, who was appearing for the government, told the court that Kumar was blacklisted by an order of March 5, 2018 passed by the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) at Chennai, and sought time to obtain the details in this regard, PTI said.
The court asked the government to produce all relevant files pertaining to the blacklisting of Kumar and listed the matter for further hearing on Oct. 11.