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Certain humane considerations must influence grant of visa, HC tells Centre

twitter-logoPTI | June 12, 2019 | Updated 16:53 IST

New Delhi, Jun 12 (PTI) Although the State has "unfettered discretion" while granting visas to foreign nationals, certain humane considerations must influence its decisions, the Delhi High Court has said. The high court's observation came while directing the Centre to issue a visa to a woman from Uzbekistan who was being denied entry into India even though one of her minor children was granted a medical visa for treatment here. Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that issuing a medical visa to the child while blacklisting the parent was "futile and serves no purpose". "The courts, in several decisions, have emphasised upon the importance of having a humanitarian approach. "Although the state has an unfettered discretion in the matter of granting visas to foreign citizens, certain humane considerations must influence its decisions," the court said in its order. The relief has been granted to the woman subject to her giving an undertaking that she would leave the country on expiry of her visa along with her children. She was blacklisted for staying back in India after expiry of her tourist visa as she had married someone here. The court's order came on her husband's plea seeking removal of her name from the blacklist. She had earlier arrived in India in November 2017 on a tourist visa which was valid till January 2018. During her stay here, she got married in December 2017. Thereafter, she continued to stay here and left after obtaining an exit visa, her husband's petition said, adding that she had two kids from her first marriage which ended in a divorce. Her 11-year-old daughter was issued a medical visa for two months for availing treatment at Fortis Hospital here and her 9-year-old son was granted a tourist visa, but she was denied the travel document, the petition said. During the proceedings before the court, the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) had declined to review her status till September 9, 2019 when her name would be removed from the blacklist in the normal course. However, the court was of the view that the instant case "presents certain mitigating circumstances" and a humanitarian approach was required. PTI HMP SKV SA

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