The Gujarat High Court Single bench Justice R.M. Chhaya extended the stay of Pakistani woman Maria Mohammed Qasim (19) till February 16 in order to move application for Indian Citizenship. The Court has given this order on Thursday, a day before she was supposed to be deported. The Central Government has been directed to decide upon her application within four weeks of her request. The petitioner seeks parity with singer Adnan Sami who was awarded Indian citizenship recently.
Maria who is a Pakistani national is married to Godhra resident Irfan Siraj Pada, who is serving life sentence for his role in the burning of coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002. They got married on November 10, 2014, when he was on bail. She gave birth to a baby girl on December 8, 2015.
The Panchmahal district Superintendent of Police Raghvendra Vatsa had rejected her application for extension of Long Term Visa (LTV). Therefore she had approached the High Court, which considered her petition, in view of her advanced pregnancy and gave a month’s time from the date of delivery to leave the country.
She was again directed by the SP to leave the country by January 8 as per the High Court order. While so she had moved another application for extension of LTV, which was rejected by the SP.
In December, she again moved the High Court challenging the eviction order. She contended that only the Central government could reject her plea for extension of LTV and not the SP. She also contended that she has sought Indian citizenship and sought parity with singer Adnan Sami, who was recently awarded Indian citizenship.
The Court upheld the decision of SP and directed the petitioner to move a fresh application for citizenship before the Union Government of India before January 14. If the Central Government doesn’t entertain her plea she will have to leave on February 16.
In the light of the undertaking by her made in connection with the earlier petition the Court said, “ the petitioner now cannot be permitted to take any advantage of the earlier order passed by this Court dated 27.10.2015 by ignoring the undertaking which is filed on affidavit before this Court. It requires to be noted that this Court was pleased to exercise the discretion only on humanitarian grounds considering the fact that the petitioner was in the advance stage of her gestation period.”
Read the order here.