Abbas Karadia citizenship case: Bombay HC says person cannot stay without enough documents
Born in Pakistan to Indian origin parents, Karadia had moved the HC seeking extension of his Long Term Visa (LTV)
The Bombay High Court on Thursday has observed that a person cannot be permitted to live in the country without valid papers even if he is entitled to Indian citizenship. A division of bench of the court, headed by Justice A S Oka, refused to grant bail to 49-year-old Abbas Karadia and also asked to conduct an inquiry on how the central government is issuing such visas to the man who has neither an Indian nor a Pakistani passport.
Born in Pakistan to Indian origin parents, Karadia had moved the HC seeking extension of his Long Term Visa (LTV). Karadia said in his petition that both of his parents are of Indian origin and that his mother moved to Pakistan during the Partition.
He also claimed that during the time of marriage both his parents were residents of India and mother went to Karachi at the time of his birth.
The petition said Karadia was brought to Mumbai soon after his birth and he even had identity cards such as Aadhaar, domicile certificate, PAN card and a voter’s ID card.
He is facing deportation since his application for his LTV was turned down and was directed by the authorities to submit a copy of his Pakistani passport for the same.
Karadia said that he did not even have a Pakistani passport. He also said he has applied for Indian citizenships seven times but failed to get a positive response. Karadia's last application application is due for a hearing before the Union Government.
Hence he approached HC asking his deportation be stayed, and his LTV be extended till his citizenship application is decided by the government.Karadia put an argument saying he was entitled to Indian citizenship by virtue of descent, registration, and by the principle of naturalisation, all provided for in the Indian Citizenship Act.
The HC held that “even if a person is entitled to 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 by the Centre,” the bench ruled.