The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected a Pakistani national’s plea for long-term visa extension. The man has been staying in India for 49 years now and his parents are of Indian origin.
The court has also ordered an inquiry into how the central government has been issuing him long term visas (LTV) for so many years when the man has neither an Indian nor a Pakistani passport.
The man, Asif Karadia, has been living in India, earning a living by working at a local restaurant, paying taxes, and has ID proof such as an Aadhar card, a ration card, a PAN card, and even a voter ID card. He, however, has no passport and is facing deportation since his last application for LTV extension was rejected and he was asked to submit a copy of his Pakistani passport.
Karadia however, has no Pakistani passport or any other valid identity documents issued by the Pakistani government because he was born in Karachi and brought to India by his mother when he was a just a few days old and has stayed here since.
Karadia’s father and mother were born in Gujarat before Partition, and his wife and his three children are all Indian citizens.
Karadia has applied for an Indian citizenship seven times but has failed to get a response. His last application is currently pending hearing before the Union government.
He thus, approached the HC through his counsel advocate Sujay Kantawala, seeking that the deportation notice against him be stayed, and his LTV be extended till the government decides on his citizenship application.
Kantawala also argued that Karadia was entitled to an Indian citizenship by virtue of descent, registration, and by the principle of naturalisation, all provided for in the Indian Citizenship Act.
A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai, however, held that “even if a person is entitled to an Indian citizenship, he or she cannot, at any given time, be authorised to reside in the country without valid papers.”
“In fact, we are surprised to know that even though the petitioner has no passport, he claims that the government of India had earlier granted him LTV and extended the same from time to time. This needs to be investigated,” the bench said.
HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on January 9, next year.