HC questions Centre's decision denying visa to OCI card holder as mother visited Pakistan

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New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday asked the Centre as to how it can stop a person from coming to India merely because his mother used to visit Pakistan.

The query was posed to the central government by Justice Rekha Palli during the hearing of a plea by three US citizens, who are also Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders, challenging denial of visa to them to visit their family here.

'How can you stop a person from coming to India just because his mother used to visit Pakistan,' the court said and issued notice to the ministries of external affairs and home affairs and the Consulate General of India in New York, USA, seeking their stand on the plea by June 9.

The petitioner claimed that he, his wife and two daughters had applied for renewal of their OCI cards, and in January 2021, his wife's card was renewed.

However, his and his daughters' OCI cards were not renewed for the reason that his mother lived in Pakistan during her childhood and visited that country even after marriage when she had become an Indian citizen, said the petition, filed through advocate Abha Roy.

Roy said that according to a circular issued by the central government, OCI need not be renewed for these three card holders.

According to the central government circular anyone who gets an OCI card after turning 20 years of age need not get it renewed till the age of 50 years after which he/she has to renew it once. However, if the card is obtained after 50 years of age, then no renewal is ever required, the lawyer told the court.

She told the court that the central government failed to appreciate that the petitioner got the OCI card after he turned 50 years old and his two daughters got the card after they turned 20 years and therefore, no renewal was required.

Despite that he was not being allowed to travel to India, Roy told the court and added that this amounted to non-application of mind by the government in interpreting its own circular.

The petitioners want to travel urgently to India as the petitioner's mother is in very poor health, the plea said. PTI HMP SA

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