The Bombay High Court will decide on February 1 whether to grant temporary work visa to a Japanese-Singaporean couple that have been in the city for 10 years.
The couple was convicted by the special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act court. HC reversed the conviction last year.
As the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer refused to allow Singapore national Zainab Yousuf (57) and her Japanese husband Tetsyo Hiryama (62) to leave the country, they had approached the HC seeking maintenance from the government.
Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata opposed the petition saying there were millions of Indians who had no means of livelihood. “Should all those approach the court for maintenance and livelihood?” asked Khambata.
Khambata told the court that the Supreme Court has admitted government’s appeal against their acquittal. The SC has restrained them from leaving the country till their appeal is decided, said Khambata.
Ayaz Khan, counsel for the petitioners, argued that the government was neither allowing them to leave nor giving maintenance. Khan said Yousuf was suffering from cancer and needed money for her treatment.
“From where will the old couple get money for her treatment? Would anyone even employ them?” asked Khan.
Justice P.B. Majmudar asked the counsels as to what was the procedure in foreign countries where Indians were convicted or acquitted.
Khan pointed out that European countries paid convicts in jail and if anyone was acquitted they were deported to their countries.
“Yes, but had they been in China they would have been executed by now (after conviction),” remarked Justice Majmudar.
A division bench of Justice Majmudar and Justice R.G. Ketkar will pass the order on February 1.