Overstay of foreign students: HC not happy with lower courts

Overstay of foreign students: HC not happy with lower courts

The High Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the way the magistrate courts were handling cases pertaining to foreign students who have overstayed in India after expiry of their Visa.

While hearing the bail application of a Nigerian national, Justice A V Chandrashekhara said that the magistrate courts were not handling these cases as per the existing rules and refused to grant bail to the Nigerian national.

Nnaji Chukwu Emeka, was arrested by the Ramamurthynagar police for his suspected involvement in selling drugs. He could not produce his passport or visa and hence was booked under various sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946, Foreigners Order Act, 1948 and Passports Act, 1967.

During the hearing, Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) Krishna S Dixit argued that overstay of foreigners in the country had become a headache and there had been many instances overstaying foreign nationals committing crime.

He said that magistrate courts were not taking action as per the Foreigners Act which provides for five years’ imprisonment for overstaying foreigners. He said that the lower courts were only slapping fine for the offence.

The petitioner’s advocate Saraswathi N submitted that the Nigerian national had been behind bars for over three months and he needs to be released. She said that the petitioner had lost his passport and the court sought to know whether any photocopies of the passport were available.

The counsel said that she would submit the document in the next hearing. The matter was adjourned to January 29.

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