Tablighi Case: HC condition restricting entry to India for 10 years, not to be considered in future says SC

The court said the visa applications of the petitioner and 8 other nationals will be considered on merit


The Supreme Court clarified that the condition imposed on foreign nationals by the Karnataka High Court to not enter the country for the next 10 years will not be considered while deciding any future applications for visa for travel to India.

A bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna held, “We clarify that in case the appellant and 8 other similarly situated persons apply for visa to visit India, the application(s) would be considered on merits without being influenced by the directions given in paragraph (i) of the impugned judgment dated 13.10.2020 and the affidavit/undertaking filed by the appellant and 8 others.”

The petitioner is a Kyrgyzstan national and was arrested for violating visa conditions and hence was booked for violating the Foreigners Act, 1946. The petitioner and other similarly placed appellants had moved the Karnataka High Court for quashing of the FIR against them. A single judge bench of the high court vide an order dated October 13, 2020, quashed criminal proceedings against them and directed the state to make necessary arrangement or issuance of exit permits to them. While the court quashed proceedings against them, the court did so, with a condition that they would not return to India for another 10 years. The court required them to even submit an undertaking to that effect, apart from paying a fine.

The apex court left open the question whether the decision in Crl.P. No. 6578/2019 of Karnataka High Court would apply to foreigners who enter India with valid passport and valid visa. This decision of the high court was pertaining to how to deal with mainly illegal migrants who commit offence in India.

The Supreme Court order may be read here.


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