Give long-term visa to ‘eligible’ Pak migrants in 45 days: HC to govt | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Give long-term visa to ‘eligible’ Pak migrants in 45 days: HC to govt

HC directs the centre and state governments to issue long-term visas within 45 days to those Pak migrants whose deficiencies in the visa applications have been removed

jaipur Updated: Jan 19, 2018 22:09 IST
Dinesh Bothra
Pakistan Hindu refugees at their makeshift homes in Jodhpur.
Pakistan Hindu refugees at their makeshift homes in Jodhpur.(HT File)

The Rajasthan high court (HC) on Friday directed the centre and state governments to issue long-term visas (LTVs) within 45 days to those Pakistani migrants whose deficiencies in the visa applications have been removed.

The HC division bench, comprising justice Gopal Krishn Vyas and justice Vinit Kumar Mathur, also expressed its unhappiness over not granting Indian citizenship to “eligible” Pakistani migrants for not possessing the LTV.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) over the issue of granting citizenship to Pakistani migrants.

The court directed KL Thakur, the additional advocate general appearing on behalf of the state government, to ensure the disposal of pending LTV applications according to the rules, so that the eligible Pakistani refugees belonging to minority communities can get the citizenship.

Amicus curiae Kamal Joshi told the court that LTV is a necessary document for Indian citizenship. Due to this reason thousands of Pak refugees, who do not have LTV, cannot get the citizenship, though the Union government has empowered district collectors to grant citizenship to Pakistani refugees, he stated.

The state government had submitted to the court that the foreigners’ registration offices of the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and state government had received 2,418 applications to remove the deficiencies. From these applications, deficiencies of the 2072 applications have been removed till January 15 and the applications have been sent to the state government. Likewise, 234 applications have been sent to the MHA and there is still a need to remove the shortcomings in 112 applications.

The state government stated that the applications pending with it will be disposed of in 60 working days. The Amicus Curiae opposed the government’s argument citing that the applications whose deficiencies have been removed should be disposed of immediately, so that the Pakistani migrants can be granted Indian citizenship. The court then ordered the central and state government to dispose of the pending applications within 45 days.

The state government told the court that so far 2,644 Pakistani refugees have applied for the citizenship in the state, out of which 2,288 applicants are living in Jodhpur district. There are currently 14,253 Pakistani refugees residing in Jodhpur district. Only those Pakistani refugees, who have lived on seven-year LTV, may be eligible for the citizenship.