Rajasthan HC directs the centre and state governments to issue long-term visas to ‘eligible’ Pakistani Migrants within 45 days

The Rajasthan High Court division bench, comprising of Justice Gopal Krishn Vyas and Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur on Friday directed the Union and State governments to issue long-term visas (LTVs) within 45 days to those Pakistani migrants whose deficiencies in the visa applications have been removed.

A Public Interest Litigation had been filed before the court regarding the issue of granting citizenship to Pakistani migrants.

Additional advocate general, KL Thakur appeared on behalf of the state government while Kamal Joshi appeared as Amicus Curiae.

The Counsel for the state Government explained before the court that so far 2,644 Pakistani refugees have applied for the citizenship in the state, out of which 2,288 applicants were residents of Jodhpur District. Further there were currently 14,253 Pakistani refugees residing in Jodhpur

The State Government submitted before the Court that that the foreigners’ registration offices of the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and state government together had received 2,418 applications in total, to remove the deficiencies. From these applications, deficiencies of the 2072 applications have been removed till 15th January. The applications from whom the deficiencies were removed, have been sent to the state government. Further 234 applications have been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs. However there was still a need to expunge the infirmities in 112 applications.

According to a report by the Hindustan Times, the reason stated for refusal to grant citizenship to the Pakistani Refugees was that they did not have long term visa (LTV). According to the Amicus Curiae, LTV was a necessary document for Indian citizenship. Although the Union government had empowered district collectors to grant citizenship to Pakistani refugees. The state Government told the Court that only those Pakistani refugees, who have lived on seven-year LTV would be eligible for the citizenship.

However the Amicus Curiae opposed the state government’s contention that the government will dispose of the pending applications within 60 days. He claimed that applications whose deficiencies have been removed should be disposed of immediately, so that the Pakistani migrants can be granted Indian citizenship.

The court however finally ordered the central and state government to dispose of the pending applications within 45 days.

The Court further directed the state government to make sure that pending LTV applications are disposed off according to the rules, so that the eligible Pakistani refugees belonging to minority communities can get the citizenship.

The Division Bench of the High Court thus expressed grave concern and unhappiness over not granting Indian citizenship to “eligible” Pakistani migrants for not possessing the LTV.

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