The Bombay High Court has observed that a person cannot be authorised to reside in the country without valid papers even if he is entitled to Indian citizenship. A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka, while refusing to grant relief to 49-year-old Abbas Karadia, also directed conducting an inquiry as to how the central government has been issuing such visas to the man when he has neither an Indian nor a Pakistani passport.
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Karadia, who was born in Pakistan and his parents are of Indian origin, had moved the HC seeking extension of Long Term Visa (LTV). In his petition, Karadia said both his parents are of Indian origin and that his mother shifted to Pakistan during the Partition. He claimed that at the time of marriage his mother and father both were residents of India and she went to Karachi at the time of his (Karadia) birth.
The petition claimed that Karadia was brought to Mumbai soon after his birth. Karadia claimed of having identity cards such as Aadhaar, domicile certificate, PAN card and even a voter’s ID card.
He, however, has no passport and is facing deportation since his last application for extension of his LTV was rejected and he was directed by the authorities to submit a copy of his Pakistani passport for the same.
Karadia claims he does not have a Pakistani passport either. He claims to have applied for Indian citizenship seven times but has failed to get a positive response. Karadia’s last application is at present pending a hearing before the Union Government.
He, thus, approached HC seeking that the deportation notice be stayed, and his LTV be extended till his citizenship application is decided by the government.
Karadia argued that he was entitled to Indian citizenship by virtue of descent, registration, and by the principle of naturalisation, all provided for in the Indian Citizenship Act.
The high court held that “even if a person is entitled to Indian citizenship, he or she cannot, at any given time, be authorised to reside in the country without valid papers.”
“In fact, we are surprised to know that even though the petitioner has no passport, he claims that the Government of India had earlier granted him LTV and extended the same from time-to-time. This needs to be investigated by the Centre,” the bench said.
HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on January 9 next year.