Examine Scope Of Rights Of Foreigners To Approach Court In Visa Condition Violation: Centre To SC
The Centre today requested the Supreme Court to examine the question regarding the scope of the rights of a foreign national to approach the local courts in a matter of violation of visa conditions.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a Bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice C T Ravikumar that the apex court can lay down a law on this and it will have a very long-lasting implication for the country.
The Court was hearing the pleas, including those challenging the orders blacklisting several citizens of 35 countries from travelling to India for 10 years for alleged involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities.
Mehta told the Bench that this question be examined by the Court.
This question, when a country issues a visa and there is a violation of visa conditions, when Article 19 is not applicable to a foreigner though Article 21 applies, what would be the scope of their (foreigners) rights to approach the local courts, he told the bench.
The bench told Mehta to file his written note.
"Kindly post it on someday so that with the assistance of all, your lordships can lay down a law which will have a very long-lasting implication for the country", the Solicitor General said.
The Counsel appearing for one of the petitioners said they would also file their written note on this.
The Bench posted the matter for hearing on April 8.
In January this year, the Solicitor General had told the bench that a very important constitutional question arises for consideration which relates to the rights of a foreigner concerning visa restrictions.
He had said the court may have to consider four legislations, the Passport (Entry into India) Act, the Foreigners Act, the Registration of Foreigners Act, and the Citizenship Act, while considering the issue.
The Apex Court is seized of pleas filed by several foreigners who have challenged the Centre's orders blacklisting more than 2,700 citizens of 35 countries from travelling to India for 10 years for alleged involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities.
The Centre had earlier sought dismissal of the pleas and informed the top court in July 2020 that it had issued individual orders on a case-to-case basis for cancellation of visas and blacklisting of 2,765 foreign nationals.
As per the information available, 205 FIRs have been lodged against the foreign Tablighi Jamaat members by 11 states and 2,765 such foreigners have been blacklisted so far, the Centre had said in its affidavit filed in the Apex Court.
Some of the petitions have contended that en-masse blacklisting of foreigners without any opportunity to defend themselves is a blatant violation of Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution.
With PTI inputs