Millennium Post

No coercive steps till Mar 25 against Pak woman asked to leave the country: HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to not take coercive steps, till March 25, against a Pakistani woman who has been asked by the government to leave the country in view of adverse security reports against her.

The interim order by a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambani came on the woman's husband's appeal against a single-judge decision upholding the government's direction.

Issuing the interim order, the bench observed that the confidential security report, based on which action was taken against the woman, "does not inspire confidence".

The court also directed the Centre to file its response to the plea and listed it for further hearing on March 25.

"Till the next date of hearing no coercive action be taken against the petitioner's wife. She shall report to the nearest police station on every alternate day and she shall not be kept waiting there for more than one hour," the bench said.

It observed the long-term visa held by the woman since 2007 did not appear to be cancelled till date. To this, central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said once she was asked to leave the country, it amounted to cancellation of her visa. Ahluwalia also argued that grant and cancellation of a visa was a sovereign right and the woman had no right under the Constitution to approach the court, seeking permission to be allowed to stay here.

However, the bench said, "Nothing can be done arbitrarily".

The woman's husband, Mohd Javed, in his appeal has challenged the single judge's Feb 28 order upholding the Centre's Feb 7 notice asking her to leave the country within 15 days by Feb 22.

The single judge had given the woman two weeks to leave the country, saying that under the principles of law she has no right to stay here.

The 37-year-old 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.

According to her husband's plea, she has a long-term visa valid till 2020 which has not been cancelled, but she has been asked to leave the country.

The single judge in his order had also said that the bench was unable to accept the woman's contention that the government's notice was arbitrary.

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