The Delhi High Court asked the Center on Monday how it could prevent someone from coming to India simply because their mother used to visit Pakistan.
The question was posed to the central government by Judge Rekha Palli during a plea hearing from three US citizens, also holders of Overseas Indian Citizen (OCI) cards, challenging their refusal to visa to visit family here.
“How can you prevent a person from coming to India just because his mother used to visit Pakistan,” the court said and sent a notice to the Ministries of Foreign and Home Affairs and the Consulate General from India to New York, United States, requesting their ruling on the plea by June 9.
The petitioner claimed that he, his wife and two daughters applied for the renewal of their OCI cards, and in January 2021 his wife’s card was renewed.
However, her OCI cards and those of her daughters were not renewed as her mother lived in Pakistan as a child and visited this country even after marriage when she became an Indian citizen, according to the petition filed by the lawyer Abha Roy.
Roy said that according to a circular issued by the central government, the OIC does not need to be renewed for these three cardholders.
According to the central government circular, anyone who obtains an OCI card after reaching the age of 20 does not need to renew it before the age of 50, after which they must renew it once. However, if the card is obtained after 50 years, then no renewal is necessary, the lawyer told the court.
She told the court that the central government did not understand that the applicant obtained the OCI card after turning 50 and that his two daughters obtained the card after their 20s and therefore no renewal was necessary.
Although he was not allowed to travel to India, Roy told the court and added that this amounted to a failure to apply the spirit of the government in interpreting its own circular.
The petitioners wish to travel to India as a matter of urgency, as the petitioner’s mother is in very poor health, according to the plea.