The Delhi High Court held that foreigners collecting funds purportedly for charitable activities while on a business visa is not permitted. The Court refused to interfere with the blacklisting and deportation of the Petitioner from the Trivandrum Airport.

The Court observed that the decision to deport and blacklist the Petitioner was not arbitrary, thereby negating the need for intervention under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad observed, “Collecting money ostensibly for charitable activity is not permitted when a foreigners comes to India on a business visa. Since the Petitioner has admittedly acted contrary to what is permitted, the decision taken by the authorities to blacklist the Petitioner cannot be said to arbitrary and as such requiring any interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India”.

Advocate Anand Duggal appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate Shoumendu Mukherji appeared for the Union.

The Petitioner approached the High Court by way of Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution contesting her deportation from Trivandrum, Kerala Airport on November 28, 2022.

The Petitioner, Randa Chehab, claimed to be a U.S. citizen, holding a valid visa but that she was deported by the Bureau of Immigration. She claimed to be a professional yoga teacher with a Master's Degree in Global Health and engaged in charitable activities. Despite having a history of valid visas, her recent tourist visa application was rejected, citing her inclusion in the adverse/banned list by the Ministry of Home Affairs, she contended. The Status Report indicated that her name was blacklisted for fundraising on a business visa, a violation reported by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Trivandrum.

The Court framed the following issue: “whether the violation of the conditions of the business visa can be a sufficient reason for deportation and blacklisting of the Petitioner?

The Court noted that the permissible purposes for a Business visa, include establishing ventures, purchasing/selling goods, attending meetings, recruiting manpower, and participating in exhibitions. However, the Bench noted that collecting funds for charitable activities on a business visa is prohibited. The Court noted that the Petitioner failed to demonstrate infringement of rights as the jurisdiction of the court under Article 226 is limited to rights violations.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Writ Petition.

Cause Title: Randa Chehab v Union Of India & Ors. (2023:DHC:9126)

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