Mumbai HC rejects PoK man's plea seeking deportation to Pakistan

The Bombay High Court today rejected a petition filed by a man claiming to hail from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and seeking deportation to Pakistan on the ground that the area he was born was now included in the neighbouring country.

Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sadhana Jadhav were of the view that he should first face trial in India in a case filed by the Government against him under the Passports Act and Foreigners Act for staying in India without permission.

Observing that police had already filed a chargesheet, the judges gave liberty to the petitioner to apply for discharge in the trial court here if he wanted to do so.

Advocate General Darius Khambata submitted that Siraj had married in India and had children.

The court said that Siraj's wife and children can go to Pakistan by following the due process of law.

Early this month, the petitioner filed an affidavit in the high court saying that he was a Pakistani citizen and wanted to be deported to the neighbouring country.

Siraj claimed that he was born in Manshera area, which was then in PoK, but added that this area now falls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan.

Khan, who sneaked into India when he was a child, said his parents were now citizens of Pakistan and hence he was seeking deportation to that country.

Earlier, in a petition, he said he was from PoK and should be deported to that place. However, the court sought to know from the Central government what was its stand in the matter and whether PoK was located in India or in Pakistan.

The court had also sought to know whether a man from PoK staying in India can be prosecuted under the Foreigner Citizens Act and Passport Act terming him as a foreign national.

Khan had urged in the petition for a direction to police to deport him back to his village Manshera and also to quash the case registered against him for entering India without a valid passport.

According to Siraj, he had entered Indian territory by "mistake" when he was nine years old and continued staying here. He also got married to a girl from Mumbai.

In 2000, when Siraj urged police to deport him, he was booked under various sections of Foreigner Citizens Act and Passport Act.

In an earlier hearing, the state government had told the court that PoK was part of Indian territory and hence it was withdrawing the case registered against Siraj.
Siraj's lawyer Ejaz Naqvi argued that Siraj and his wife are Pakistani nationals and hence should be sent back.

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