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Delhi HC dismisses plea seeking deportation of African, Bangladeshi nationals living in Delhi ‘illegally’

The High Court observed that "broad-brushing people" from a country or continent as drug peddlers can be racist.

The HC, thereafter, dismissed the petition as withdrawn, allowing the petitioner to file a fresh plea "containing all minute details" on the issue. (File)
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The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed a public interest petition (PIL) seeking the “immediate deportation” of African, Bangladeshi, and other foreign nationals allegedly living illegally in Delhi without valid visas and passports.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad asked the petitioner, Sushil Kumar Jain, a practising advocate, on what basis the averments made in the plea. When Jain’s counsel submitted that these foreign nationals were living illegally and were making “nefarious plans”, the bench asked, “On what basis are you making all these statements? You are making racist comments. They are also human beings. You are making serious allegations against them without any basis”.

The petitioner has claimed that these foreign nationals take student or medical visas and are involved in illegal acts and crimes like “drug smuggling, human trafficking, and cyber fraud. The petitioner has said that due to drug smuggling, “caused mostly by African nationals” has affected the youth and has had negative ramifications on their future and overall being.

“Many of the youths of the locality concerned have become drug addicts and indulged in criminal activities and crimes have increased, pressurising our already overburdened and crumbling police administration,” the plea stated.

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When the bench asked the petitioner the basis of the plea, the counsel for the petitioner sought some time to file documents in support of the same. Expressing displeasure on the comments made in the plea, the HC observed that the petitioner “had not done any research” and that “broad-brushing people” from a country or continent as drug peddlers can be racist.

Appearing for the Delhi Government, standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi submitted that the petition should be dismissed as it has not been filed properly. At this stage, the bench asked the petitioner to withdraw the plea and file a fresh petition properly. The HC, thereafter, dismissed the petition as withdrawn, allowing the petitioner to file a fresh plea “containing all minute details” on the issue.

The plea states that these foreign nationals are living as tenants in Delhi and their landlords have been accommodating them without their proper verification for deriving monetary benefits through them. “These habits of the landlord (providing illegal shelters to foreigners without verification) can provide easy means and ways for terrorists to act in our country and they can easily get succeed in their nefarious plan/design in Delhi and across our country,” the petition said.

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The PIL sought direction for police verification of the passport and visa of the foreign nationals and deportation of those found living illegally. The plea further sought a direction to the Ministry of External Affairs against the issuance of visas to such foreign nationals and blacklisting of those who are living illegally in Delhi. It also sought a direction to all DCPs to file a detailed status report in this regard and action against those providing “illegal shelter”.

First published on: 07-12-2022 at 14:38 IST
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