British musician and The Ska Vengers band member Stefan Felix Kaye, who is fighting a court case to be allowed to stay in India, said he is “worried and distressed” for his wife and three-month-old daughter.
With his plea for grant of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI), or X-visa, yet to be decided by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) — despite a March 23 Delhi High Court order — the musician fears he will be deported to the UK. He is currently living with his family at Sainik farms. Kaye had moved the HC against his deportation, which asked the FRRO to take a “sympathetic view”.
His wife Ritika, who is also a singer, said, “kal ka pata nahi (we don’t know where he’ll be tomorrow). How will he start in UK, which he left 18 years ago? He has no roots over there.”Kaye added, “My wife cannot envisage a life outside India… her work, her elderly parents are all here.”
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs and the FRRO is yet to pass any order. “Their (authorities) arrogance and ignorance is quite extraordinary. Presently, I am in limbo… If they do not take a decision, I may move the Supreme Court,” he said.
Kaye had come to India in February 2006, where he met Ritika. The two married in December 2009. But his visa expired and proceedings were initiated against him. He was arrested in 2011 for overstaying in the country and sent to Tihar Jail for three weeks.
In July 2016, Kaye was convicted by the trial court and sentenced to six months in jail, followed by deportation. However, on his appeal against his sentence and imprisonment, the HC commuted his jail term to the time already spent behind bars. But orders were given for deportation.
He appealed against his deportation and was given a single-stay permit in November 2017 ,which let him remain in India till March 31, 2018. He again moved the HC, saying his case was not considered fairly. The court then asked the FRRO to consider Kaye’s application for grant of OCI status, while directing it not take any coercive measures against him.
Referring to action ordered by the authorities, he said, “They do not understand, taking her (his wife) with me to UK is also not a solution. This (India) is my home, where my wife and child stay. There is no intention of leaving my family behind… I also do not subscribe to the view that one is always a subject of the country in which they were born, whatever passport they may have. One’s home is the place one feels most at home. For me, it is India…”
He added, “I would be happy to return to UK immediately and apply for the OCI. But I fear that I won’t be granted a visa or be allowed to to return.”