Asia & Australia

September 24, 2018

Blacklisted foreigners, OCI cardholders must be intimated in advance: Delhi HC


The Delhi High Court has disapproved the authorities’ “disturbing and unreasonable” practice of not informing in advance foreigners and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders about their being blacklisted, and directed the Centre to make sure that such persons are intimated in advance that they will be refused entry into the country.

Pointing at many such cases being filed in the High Court, Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that what was “disturbing” was that none of these individuals had been informed in advance that they would be denied entry despite holding a valid visa.

“They (foreigners/OCI cardholders) discover that they are not allowed entry into the country only upon their arrival at the airport in India. Whilst there may be good reason for the respondents to deny certain foreigners’ entry into India, the practice of not informing them of such decision in advance, cannot be countenanced,” said Justice Bakhru.

“This is not only unreasonable but militates against our value of fairness that is engrafted in the Constitution of India. This practice must be deprecated,” he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was directed to issue necessary directions to all officers authorized to issue blacklisting orders that such individuals must be intimated in advance. The ruling came after hearing a woman’s petition that her husband, an OCI cardholder, was refused entry despite having a valid visa. The woman said that her husband was a qualified doctor in orthopedic and spinal surgery and travelled across the world to deliver lectures on the subject.

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