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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Delhi HC notice to Centre over cancellation of YouTuber Karl Rock’s visa

Justice Rekha Palli told the Centre that there has to be justifiable reasons for the blacklisting and the reasons have to be communicated to Karl or his wife.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: July 17, 2021 2:03:51 am
Delhi HC notice to Centre over cancellation of YouTuber’s visaA screengrab from Karl Rock's YouTube video.

THE DELHI High Court Friday issued notice to the Centre and the Foreigner Regional Registration Office, Delhi, in a petition filed by YouTuber Karl Edward Rice’s wife Manisha Malik against blacklisting and cancellation of his visa.

Malik has been with Rice, better known as Karl Rock, since 2014 and married him in 2019.

Justice Rekha Palli told the Centre that there has to be justifiable reasons for the blacklisting and the reasons have to be communicated to Karl or his wife. The court granted three weeks’ time to the respondents to file a counter-affidavit and listed the case for hearing on September 23.

Malik, in the petition filed through advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, has submitted that she and her husband are YouTube vloggers who have visited most of India to capture its beauty and thereby contribute to promotion of tourism in India. “The petitioner, by virtue of denial of a visa to her husband, who has been arbitrarily blacklisted by the respondents, is deprived from living with her husband, thereby violating her fundamental right to life and dignity under Article 21,” she argued in the plea.

Karl has a dual nationality of New Zealand and Netherlands and has been visiting India since 2013. In 2020, he was praised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for donating plasma. Subsequent to his marriage with Malik, he was granted a visa meant for the spouse of an Indian citizen. One of the visa conditions required him to exit India every 180 days or intimate the FRRO for extension.

“Complying with the aforesaid condition of exiting the nation, while the petitioner’s husband left India on 10.10.2020, he has not been able to return… because any application for issuance of an Indian visa is being rejected by the respondents. While the petitioner has been running from pillar to post and no reasons are communicated to either Mr Karl Edward Rice or to the petitioner as to on what basis her husband’s request for issuance of visa has been rejected, the petitioner’s husband was only verbally informed that he has been blacklisted, and, therefore, not permitted to enter India,” Malik said in the petition.

Advocate Anurag Ahluwalia, representing the authorities, submitted to the court that Karl has been blacklisted for visa violations as despite being on spouse visa, he was conducting business in India. Ahluwalia sought time to file a reply to the plea.

When Ayyubi, representing Malik, sought a short date for next the hearing in the case, the court said, “It is alright. You have been out in October. During the pandemic, people are not seeing their family for more than one year…”

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