02 Jul 2020 07:07 PM, IST
NEW DELHI, JULY 2—While the Supreme Court posted the hearing in the foreign Tablighi activists’ case for July 10, the Centre submitted before the apex court that foreign Tablighis can’t be deported unless criminal trial in the cases pertaining to them is completed.
The Central government submitted its reply in connection with the Tablighi activists who have been blacklisted by the Home Ministry for indulging in ‘Tabligh activities’ on tourist visa, which is a violation of Indian visa rules. The reply was submitted before a three-judge bench comprising justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna.
The reply was submitted as the top court on June 29 had asked the government as to why the foreign nationals had not been deported when their visas had been cancelled. The Centre also submitted that visa cancellation orders had been intimated individually to those foreigners who were on e-visa while it could not be executed in case of those who are untraceable.
With regard to issue of deportation of the foreign Tablighis as raised by their advocate C U Singh because their visas had been cancelled, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that it was not a fundamental right on the part of a foreigner to obtain a visa or to continue a cancelled visa. He submitted that the Central government can also terminate the visa unilaterally in case of breach of the terms and conditions of a visa.
Mehta submitted that since the petitioners (foreign Tablighis) had indulged in “Tabligh activities” which are not permitted on tourist visas, they are liable for legal action against them. Hence, they can’t be deported before conducting legal trial.
SG also clarified that 227 members of Tablighi Jamaat left before issuance of blacklisting circulars but no foreigners has been deported after that because of criminal trials pending against them.
(The story has been written by Syed Ali Ahmed)