7 April 2022 9:47 AM GMT
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought the affidavits of two high officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in connection with the matter of a Pakistani National who is currently in judicial custody and has already spent 2 years 9 months in Central Jail, Amritsar including an overstay of 1 year 9 months.Essentially, the Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan has sought the affidavit...
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought the affidavits of two high officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in connection with the matter of a Pakistani National who is currently in judicial custody and has already spent 2 years 9 months in Central Jail, Amritsar including an overstay of 1 year 9 months.
Essentially, the Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan has sought the affidavit of the Director (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Under Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs on account of their failure to communicate the Ministry's decision regarding the deportation of this Pakistani National.
Significantly, the Court has issued this order on a Habeas Corpus plea moved by the Pakistani National, Mohammad Asif, who was awarded rigorous imprisonment for 1 year by the trial Court in April 2019 under Sections 3/34/20 of Indian Passport Act, 1920 read with Section 14 of Foreigner Act, 1946, however, he was not released after 1 year and hence, he has already undergone total imprisonment for about 02 years and 09 months to date.
Before the Court, the Additional Superintendent, Central Jail, Amritsar submitted that the case of the petitioner was recommended vide letter dated 18.07.2019 to the MHA for seeking permission regarding his deportation.
It was further submitted by the officer that a reminder was also sent through Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Department of Home Affairs and Justice (Passport Branch), Govt. for taking further necessary action, however, no response had been received from the abovenamed officers of the MHA (who are responsible for deportation) and thus, the Pakistani national could not be deported.
In view of this, seeking the affidavits of the concerned officials, the Court remarked and ordered thus:
"Considering the fact that the petitioner, even if a foreign national, is overstaying in judicial custody for a period more than 02 years and 09 months, on the face of it, it is apparent that aforesaid two officers of Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi are taking this matter casually. Accordingly, both the officers are DIRECTED to file affidavits before the next date of hearing, failing which they are further directed to appear in person before this Court on 19.04.2022 at 10.00 a.m. to explain the delay in taking the decision on the recommendation sent by the Superintendent, Central Jail, Amritsar."
With this, the Court listed the matter for further hearing on April 19.
Case title - Mohammad Asif v. Union of India and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 59
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