HC quashes ‘leave India’ notice to Pak. woman

Directs govt. to consider woman’s appeal for citizenship

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday quashed the ‘leave India’ notice issued to a Pakistani woman married to an Indian man and residing here since 2005, noting that the government had not followed due procedure when ordering her deportation.

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A.J. Bhambhani directed the government to consider the woman’s application for citizenship. It also quashed a single-judge’s order upholding the Centre’s February 7 notice to the woman to leave the country within 15 days.

Govt.’s stand

The woman had come to India in 2005 after marrying an Indian man. She has been residing in Delhi with her husband and two sons — aged 11 and 5 years.

The government had taken the stand that its decision to deport the woman was taken on the basis of adverse security reports.

But the High Court said the material, including intelligence inputs, placed before it was not sufficient for taking such a step against her. The court’s verdict came on a plea filed by the woman’s husband.

The Centre had in its February notice stated that if she failed to leave India within the stipulated time, action will be taken against her as per law and her entry into the country will be barred in future.

Previously, the woman and her husband had challenged the February 7 notice before the High Court. She had then said that she was granted a long-term visa which was valid from June 2015 to June 2020.

The Centre had argued that there are adverse reports against the woman by security agencies and there was nothing illegal in the notice issued to her.

A Single Bench of the High Court had on February 28 rejected her plea stating that it was unable to accept the contention that the government’s notice was arbitrary.

Following this, the husband of the woman appealed before a larger Bench of the High Court.

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