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What Are The Rights Of Foreigners With Respect To Visa Restrictions? Supreme Court To Consider

Shruti Kakkar
24 Jan 2022 2:22 PM GMT
What Are The Rights Of Foreigners With Respect To Visa Restrictions? Supreme Court To Consider
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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider the question related to the rights of foreigners with regards to visa restrictions in the second week of March, 2022.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar that in the petition by foreign nationals challenging the Ministry of Home Affairs order blacklisting them for alleged...

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider the question related to the rights of foreigners with regards to visa restrictions in the second week of March, 2022.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar that in the petition by foreign nationals challenging the Ministry of Home Affairs order blacklisting them for alleged participation in Tablighi Jamaat activities, an important question related to the right of foreigners with regards to visa restriction had arisen.

Mr Mehta further submitted that there were judgements that say that these rights are sovereign statutory rights.

Requesting the bench to consider the same, he said, "They have already gone back. An important question arises which is Right Of Foreigners With Regards To Visa Restriction. Your lordships' judgments say these are all sovereign statutory rights. Your lordships may have to consider the Passport (Entry Into India ) Act, 1920 Foreigners Act."

Acceding to SG's request, the bench in its order said, "As regards the main matter, a short question is involved which needs to be addressed expeditiously. We direct listing of the main matter in the 2nd week of March, 2022."

During the hearing, the bench also considered an application by a 24-year-old Malaysian who was aggrieved due to delay in disposal of his petition seeking quashing of criminal cases pending before Patna High Court.

Advocate Shoeb Alam appeared for the applicant relying on Top Court's order of March 25, 2021, wherein directions were issued to Patna High Court for expeditious disposal of the petition submitted that Union of India was taking unnecessary adjournments by taking time to file counter affidavit.

In this backdrop counsel had submitted that,

"In March last year passed an order directing expeditious disposal for quashing petitions. I am appearing for 24 year old Malaysian citizens. I have moved an application for expeditious disposal. On 6 dates UOI has taken time to file a counter affidavit. 2 / 3 days earlier, matter was listed, but it was later said that the matter may be listed physically."

Accordingly, the bench while granting the applicant liberty to invite the attention of Chief Justice of Patna High Court for ensuring expeditious disposal in terms of order passed by this court in its order said,

"Grievance is limited to no progress made in the hearing of the WP pending before the HC despite the order of this court in that regard. It is submitted that UOI is taking unnecessary adjournments. Instead of making any observation, we deem it appropriate to grant liberty to the applicant to invite the attention of Chief Justice of Patna High Court for ensuring expeditious disposal in terms of order passed by this court. We hope & trust that the High Court will be in position to deal with the petition expeditiously."

Advocate Manish Kumar appeared for the State of Bihar.

It is pertinent to mention that the Top Court even on November 20, 2020 in its order had said, "We hope and trust that considering the nature of controversy involved, the High Court will give preferences to this matter as a larger issue pending before this court in the present proceedings can be then proceeded with."

Case Title: Maulana Ala Hadrami & Ors v. Union of India and Anr| WP(Civil) 600/2020 and Muhammad Hafizuddin Bin Zainal Abidin And Ors. Versus Union Of India And Ors| W.P.(Crl.) No. 295/2020

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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