The Centre today submitted before the Supreme Court that individual orders for cancellation of visa of Foreign nationals associated with Tablighi Jamat were passed by the Central Government.
The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a petition challenging the blacklisting of foreign Nationals by the Ministry of Home Affairs for their alleged association with Tablighi Jamat.
While the Solicitor General informed the bench the bench that individual orders for blacklisting had been issued, Senior Counsel Salman Khurshid appearing for the Petitioners submitted that they would challenge the order in the High Court on a case to case basis.
Advocate CU Singh on the other hand submitted that when the foreign nationals want to go back to their nations they are not being allowed to go. Moreover Blacklisting is done when one tries to enter India.
However, the bench said that deportation can be done if there is a criminal case pending.
SG Mehta requested the bench to adjourn the matter since blacklisting was sovereign function and it was not known whether the petitioners represented all the foreign nationals blacklisted.
The bench has listed the matter for next hearing on July 10.
Centre has been directed to file the copies of orders passed on visa cancellation for petitioners by email to the counsels.
In this backdrop the Ministry of Home Affairs has filed its reply stating that individual orders have been passed by the competent authorities with regard to the cancellation of the visas, the blacklisting of individuals and the other steps taken in pursuance of the same. The cancellation of e visa has been intimated to foreigners who were on e visa by email whereas those on regular visas whose email ids were not available no intimation has been sent.
It has further been submitted that “grant of a visa is not an enforceable right let alone a fundamental right.”
Moreover, the Ministry has submitted that restrictions on engaging in activities in the nature of Tablighi activities by foreigners have been specifically incorporated and regulated in the Visa manuals issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The petitioners have breached the said mandate which required them to take prior permission from the relevant authorities.
The foreign nationals have been found to be involved in activities which are not covered within the purview of the limited tourist visa which was granted on their visit to India. Moreover the petitioners did not seek any specific permission from the MHA for engaging in activities in the nature of Tablighi activities.
With regard to the various queries raised in the Court the Ministry has provided information which says that so far visas of 2679 foreigners have been cancelled on cases to case basis by the bureau of Immigration.
-India Legal Bureau
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