A person from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) ought to be treated as an Indian national as PoK is part of India, the state government told the Bombay high court on Monday.
“Though it is under Pakistan’s control, Pok is part of India,” advocate general Darius Khambata said while clarifying that the state government’s stand on a petition filed by a resident of Manesara in PoK. The petitioner, Siraj Khan, is facing criminal proceedings for illegally entering and residing in India without valid permissions.
The division bench of justice s AM Khanwilkar and justice AR Joshi raised questions in the case, saying, “On the one hand you say Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is part of India and on the other you are registering an offence against the petitioner by treating him as a foreign national.”
Khambata replied saying he should have been treated as an Indian national and the offence should not have been registered, so the state had decided not to pursue the offence. The court, however, stopped short of quashing the offence against Khan after central government counsel Kiran Kandpile sought time to clarify the Centre’s stand on the issue. Khan’s petition will be heard on August 21.
Khan has approached high court seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him and asked to be deported to Manesara.