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Condition Imposed By HC On Travel Restrictions To India Not To Be Considered In Future Visa Applications Of Tablighi Members: Supreme Court

Radhika Roy
19 Nov 2020 3:08 PM GMT
Condition Imposed By HC On Travel Restrictions To India Not To Be Considered In Future Visa Applications Of Tablighi Members: Supreme Court
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Supreme Court on Monday clarified that the condition imposed by the Karnataka High Court, while quashing criminal proceedings against eight foreigners belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat, that they would not visit India within the next ten years, would not be considered while deciding their application for visa.A Bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, in their...

Supreme Court on Monday clarified that the condition imposed by the Karnataka High Court, while quashing criminal proceedings against eight foreigners belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat, that they would not visit India within the next ten years, would not be considered while deciding their application for visa.

A Bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, in their Judgement dated 16th November, noted that if the Appellant and the other similarly situated persons were to apply for visa to visit India -

"…the application(s) would be considered on merits without being influenced by the directions given in paragraph (i) of the impugned judgement dated 13.10.2020 and the affidavit/undertaking filed by the appellant and 8 others".

The Court, however, left open the question pertaining to the validity of the application of the 19th May, 2020 order in Babul Khan & Ors. v State of Karnataka, wherein illegal foreigners were to be situated in detention centres, to foreigners who had entered India with a valid passport and visa.

Different FIRs had been registered by the Bidar Town Police, Karnataka, against the eight foreigners, who had arrived from Kyrgyzstan for the Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the basis that they had violated the conditions mentioned in their visa by indulging in professing and propagating principles of the religion of Islam.

Post investigation, a chargesheet had been filed against the Appellants herein and the Trial Court in Bidar had directed for the registration of a criminal case against them. Aggrieved by this Order, the Appellants had approached the Karnataka High Court for the quashing of the same.

In an Order dated 13th October, 2020, a Single-Judge Bench of the Karnataka High Court at Kalaburagi had quashed the criminal proceedings against the Appellants and, had directed the State to make necessary arrangements for the issuance of their exit permits and to ensure their exist from India.

Additionally, the High Court did note that there was a clear violation of the visas which had been issued in their favour, and relied upon the decision of the Coordinate Bench of the High Court in Md. Kamoual Islam and Ors. v. State, wherein the Petitioners were allowed to leave immediately, with a rider that they would not come back again for a period of ten years.

Observing that extending the stay of the Appellants would only amount to being a burden on the State, the High Court proceeded to quash the impugned orders passed by the Trial Court. However, it was stated that till their actual deportation, they would remain in the detention centre.

Certain conditions were imposed upon the Appellants, including the payment of fine levied by the competent authority and to file a due undertaking to the effect that they would not visit India within the next ten years.

Senior Advocate Chander Uday Singh, Advocate-on-Record Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi and, Advocates Ibad Mushtaq, Ila Sheel and Akanksha Rai appeared on behalf of the Petitioner.

Advocate-on-Record Shubhranshu Padhi, and Advocates Ashish Yadav, Rakshit Jain and Vishal Banshal appeared on behalf of the Respondent.

Click Here To Download Order

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