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'How Long Will You Keep Him? : Supreme Court Asks Centre On Habeas Plea For 62-Year Old Man's Release From Foreigners Detention Camp

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
21 March 2022 8:00 AM GMT
How Long Will You Keep Him? : Supreme Court Asks Centre On Habeas Plea For 62-Year Old Mans Release From Foreigners Detention Camp
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The Supreme Court on Monday considered a habeas corpus petition filed seeking the release of a 62-year old man, who has been detained in a foreigners detention camp for over 7 years, as he could not be deported to Pakistan after the country refused to acknowledge him as its national.On the last occasion( February 28), the Court had asked the Centre if it could consider allowing him to apply...

The Supreme Court on Monday considered a habeas corpus petition filed seeking the release of a 62-year old man, who has been detained in a foreigners detention camp for over 7 years, as he could not be deported to Pakistan after the country refused to acknowledge him as its national.

On the last occasion( February 28), the Court had asked the Centre if it could consider allowing him to apply for Indian citizenship, having regard to the fact that he has lived most of his life in India and that all his three children are Indian citizens. The bench had also noted that he has served the 3-year sentence imposed under the Foreigners Act and has been lodged in a detention camp in Narela in Delhi since 2015 awaiting deportation to Pakistan.

Today, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the Central Government, sought adjournment saying that the matter was being discussed at the highest level.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the Supreme Court had ordered in 2020 that persons who have been detained for over 2 years in Assam Foreigners Detention Centres should be released. However, the benefit of the said order is not being given to the detenu in the instant case. "They are saying the order is with respect to foreigners from Bangladesh and cannot be applied in this case. How can such a distinction be made? We are only seeking an enforcement of this Court's order?", Parikh submitted.

"How can a Pakistani citizen claim equal rights as an Indian citizen?", ASG Nataraj submitted.

"The question is, how long will you keep him?", Justice Chandrachud, the presiding judge of the bench, asked the ASG.

The ASG submitted that discussions are going on at the highest level, following this the bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, adjourned the matter.

Brief background of the case (as extracted from the petition)-
The petition was filed by the children of the detenu(Mohd.Qamar @ Mohd.Kamil) seeking his release from the detention camp.
It is submitted that Mohd. Qamar @ Mohd. Kamil was born in India in year 1959. He had gone with his mother from India to Pakistan as a child of around 7-8 years old in 1967-1968 on a Visa visit to meet his relatives. However, his mother died there, and he remained in Pakistan in care of his relatives. When he attained adulthood, he came to India on a Passport of Pakistan in around 1989-1990. Here he married one Shehnaaj Begum, an Indian citizen, in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Out of this wedlock, five children were born, including the petitioners.
However, Mohd. Qamar @ Mohd. Kamil has no documentary proof to show that he had gone with his mother to Pakistan in around 1967-68 and his mother died there and therefore, his story has not been believed. Nevertheless, the undisputed fact is that he came to India around 1989-90 on a passport of Pakistan and did not renew his Visa due to the lack of education and subsequently, got married here. He was doing the job of a laborer on 'Khairat' machines and other menial jobs and continued to reside in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh along with his family.
That the family of Mohd. Qamar has been residing in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and his wife i.e. Shehnaaj Begum has been issued Aadhar Card by the UIDAI, Government of India. In addition, his two sons and three daughters were also born in India and are of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and citizens of India.
Mohd. Qamar, father of the Petitioners was arrested on 08.08.2011 on a complaint at Khair Nagar, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. As mentioned above, he was prosecuted under section 14 of Foreigners Act on the basis of an FIR No. 250 of 2011, P.S. Delhi Gate, Meerut. The principal allegation was that Mohd. Qamar was residing in India after expiry of his Visa. He was convicted in the Criminal Matter 1410 of 2012 on 02.09.2014 and sentenced for simple imprisonment of 3 years and 6 months and a fine of Rs. 500/-.
He completed his sentence on 06.02.2015 and was sent to Detention Centre at Lampur, Narela, Delhi on 07.02.2015 for deporting him to Pakistan. However, the Government of Pakistan did not accept his deportation to Pakistan and he is still languishing at the Detention Centre for the last 7 years.
Case Title: Ana Parveen & Anr. v. UOI & Ors| Writ Petition(Criminal) No(s).43/2022

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