Foreign Nationals Of Indian Origin Have The Right To Move Freely In India: Allahabad High Court

Foreign Nationals Of Indian Origin Have The Right To Move Freely In India: Allahabad High Court

Prayagraj, January 21 (TNA) The Allahabad High Court in an important decision has said that those foreign citizens of Indian origin, who were included in the Hague Convention of 1961, have the right to move freely in India. They cannot be denied the issue of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card merely because they do not have a birth certificate made in India, the court further observed. The court has ordered to issuing of an OIC card to the petitioner, an American woman.

A division bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Justice Prashant Kumar gave this decision while accepting the petition of American citizen Naromathi Devi Ganpat. Naromathi Devi, born in America, claims that her ancestors Bishnath, Ganesh and Janaki were of Indian origin.

Citing the certificate issued by the National Archives of America in Guyana, he told the court that her great-grandfather Ganesh was a resident of Sarigaon village in Madiyahun tehsil of Jaunpur district, while his great-grandmother Janaki was a resident of Handia tehsil of Prayagraj. On October 10, 1882, these people settled in Guyana, America. She often comes to India as a traveller to meet relatives.

Meanwhile, in the year 2018, he married Mumbai resident Bhavin Dinesh Dholakia in the temple and also got it registered. Being a foreign traveller, when the validity of his visa expired, he applied for an OCI card in the Ministry of External Affairs. The Ministry of External Affairs refused to accept the birth certificate issued by the National Archives of Guyana and demanded a certificate issued by an Indian municipality.

The petitioner’s advocate Vineet Kumar Singh argued that the petitioner's great-grandfather and great-grandmother are of Indian origin, and were residents of Jaunpur and Prayagraj. The certificate issued from the National Archives confirms this. The Ministry of External Affairs' refusal to accept this is not only a violation of Section 7(A) of the Citizenship Act 1955 but is also against the agreement made in the Hague Convention of 1961.

The court considered the petitioner entitled to obtain the OCI card. Said, the petitioner has proved through documents that his great-grandfather had gone to Guyana in 1882. Its claims and certificates cannot be refused because India is also a member of the Hague Convention. Not only this, there is no mandatory condition for filing the birth certificate even in the Citizenship Act of 1955.

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