February 9, 2011 8:25:59 pm
The Delhi High Court today directed the Centre to take a decision on the plea of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management (DSGM) to allow the entry of 169 Sikhs who were blacklisted and barred from entering India during the days of Khalistani extremism.
A division Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna directed the Home Secretary to take a decision in eight weeks and disposed of a PIL for review of the list.
Filing its petition through senior advocate K T S Tulsi,the DSGM pleaded the list of 169 Sikhs should be reviewed as it has led to “unnecessary harassment” to various individuals at different airports and embassies across the world due to non-renewal of their passports by Indian government.
Appearing before the Bench,Tulsi apprised it of a recent case involving Mayor of Slough (UK) Joginder Singh Bal who had been sent back from Delhi airport on the ground that his name figured in the blacklist.
“There is no clear-cut policy on the basis of which the 169 persons are put in the blacklist. These persons cannot be deprived of their right to renew their ties with their motherland. Such a policy is unconstitutional and discriminatory. It is based on unequal treatment to Sikhs,” Tulsi argued.
“Denial of visa to the people on the confidential list,on the one hand,provides an opportunity to the police and custom officers to harass and blackmail many innocent persons at the airports and on the other hand,sullies the image of the country in the whole world,” the petition stated.
Even after 18 years,the blacklist has not been revised,said the petition,adding “on many occasions,Sikhs have been denied visas and deported on the pretext of these blacklists”,as per the petitioner organisation.
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